Can Alabama Basketball's 'dogs' give the underdog team enough to win?

In sports parlance a player being a 'dog' is high praise. In contrast being an 'underdog' portends failure. Alabama Basketball is an underdog with possibly enough 'dogs' to pull off an upset.
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What's it to be Alabama basketball fans? Another bludgeoning by UConn? An unprecedented upset by the Alabama Crimson Tide? An underdog team loaded with 'dogs' has a chance to shock the college basketball world.

For Alabama basketball fans today is a day like none other. Until today, Alabama basketball teams don't play games in April. If oddsmakers are correct, Alabama's April basketball history will become 0-1 tonight.

History is on the side of the UConn Huskies. Records provided by Sports Odds History show no team in a National Semi-Final game, projected as a double-digit underdog has upset the favorite.

During 61 years of NCAA Tournament Semi-Finals, only four teams have been bigger underdogs than the Alabama Crimson Tide. All of them lost. As an 11.5-point underdog, an Alabama upset tonight would set an NCAA Tournament record.

Another stat from Sports Odds History is in Final Four games, no team as a 10-point or greater underdog has ever won. The favorites are 13-0.

Nate Oats and his players will give that history little notice. Point spreads are for fans and gamblers. There is zero chance an Alabama Crimson Tide player believes the Huskies are 11.5 points better than the Crimson Tide.

Nate Oats and his Alabama Basketball team defy long odds

While the players are not concerned with a point spread, they seem to embrace, and perhaps even enjoy an underdog role. In the biggest game in Alabama basketball history, added motivation is unnecessary. A team made of tough, determined, and disrespected players can be dangerous.

The Alabama team is made up of underdogs. Just look where most of them played before joining Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide. Mark Sears was an overlooked high school player from the state of Alabama who went to Ohio University. Aaron Estrada played at St. Peter's and Hofstra, with a year between spent at Oregon mostly watching the Ducks play. Latrell Wrightsell Jr. played at Cal State Fullerton for three seasons before coming to Tuscaloosa. Nick Pringle played a season at Wofford, followed by a season at Dodge City Community College. Grant Nelson played three seasons at North Dakota State. Before going to West Virginia, Mohamed Wague played his first season at Harcum College.

Before joining the Crimson Tide, five key Alabama players had basketball careers devoid of Final Four dreams. Because they are more 'dogs' than underdogs, they and a bench of 'dogs' have a chance to make history. No matter how good UConn is or how well the Huskies play, the Bama guys will not back down or give up.

Commenting on some of his players, Nate Oats said, "I think those guys are mid-major players with a chip on their shoulder. They played well enough that now they get an opportunity to prove that they belong at this level, and they’re still trying to prove it to this day. They’re going to try to prove it Saturday that they belong at this level."

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