Keys to Sweet Sixteen Victory for the Alabama Basketball team

Grand Canyon v Alabama
Grand Canyon v Alabama / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Alabama Basketball team faces off against the West Region's top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday night in Los Angeles. The health of Latrell Wrightsell is the biggest concern right now as he's a game-time decision for Thursday's game. The Tar Heels will be favored in the match-up between two high-scoring offenses however there are a few ways the Alabama Basketball team can pull off the upset.

Keeping North Carolina from dominating offensive rebounds

Through two games in the NCAA Tournament, Alabama is allowing too many offensive rebounds for Nate Oats' liking allowing Grand Canyon 15 offensive rebounds and Charleston 25 offensive rebounds. The Tar Heels have struggled at getting their own misses, grabbing five offensive rebounds against Michigan State and 13 against Wagner.

The Crimson Tide can't allow the Tar Heels to buck this trend, especially with an explosive offense. The Tar Heels rank 17th in the Nation in Offensive efficiency. If you give the Tar Heels extra chances they'll make you pay. Armando Bacot is the leading rebounder for the Tar Heels and a matchup nightmare for the Tide as he scores 14.4 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game.

The Alabama Basketball team will struggle already to slow a dominant Tar Heels offense, giving up second chances may kill the Tide. If Bacot's able to get second chances he'll make the Tide pay in fouls or at the rim. The other major factor is the Tar Heels' three-point shooting as Bacot can get the ball back out to Cormac Ryan and RJ Davis two of the better three-point shooters in college basketball.