Who should Alabama be concerned about in the Final Four?

These UCONN Huskies are players that could be a big problem for Alabama in Saturday's Final Four.
San Diego State v Connecticut
San Diego State v Connecticut / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

With tremendous challenges come tremendous opportunities. That's the situation Alabama finds itself in on Saturday night when the Crimson Tide takes on UCONN in the Final Four.

The defending National Champions enter the game with an impressive 35-3 record. Their only three losses were to then-No. 5 Kansas, Seaton Hall, and then-No. 15 Creighton, all on the road.

If the Huskies can repeat as champions, they will be just the third program to do so in the last 50 years joining Duke in 1991-92 and Florida in 2006-07. What would be amazing is that they would do so despite losing eight players from last year's team.

No team in the tournament feels more like an invincible machine than UCONN. They have chewed up their four tournament opponents thus far by an average of 27.8 points per game. So if the Tide can pull the upset, it will make Nate Oats' team the story of the tournament.

Alabama fans might not know too much about UCONN's personnel given that these two programs operate in different orbits that rarely cross paths. So here are three UCONN players that Alabama fans should know about.

Donovan Clingan will be a tough matchup inside for Alabama

In the post is where UCONN may have the greatest advantage over Alabama. That's because 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan is an absolute monster down low for UCONN.

The Connecticut native averages 12.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. In the Elite 8, he posted 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks against Illinois in only 22 minutes of action.

Many believe that the big man would have been a first-round NBA Draft pick last year but he decided to return to UCONN. This year, he almost certainly will take his talents to the next level.

At 265 pounds, he's nearly impossible to move in the paint and he can control a game by protecting the rim and cleaning up on the glass thanks to a 7-foot-7 wingspan. Thus, Alabama is going to have to try to draw him away from the basket by putting him in plenty of high pick-and-roll situations. He isn't equipped to check wings or guards so if Bama can create mismatches, attacking Clingan away from the rim has to be the strategy.

Tristen Newton will likely be Alabama's focus on defense

In the backcourt, first-team All-American Tristen Newton will be the player Alabama has to focus on because he makes everything go for the Huskies. Averaging 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.1 assists, he is UCONN's best all-around player.

A former transfer from East Carolina, Newton was part of last season's title team. However, he wasn't the focal point of the Huskies' attack last season as he is this year.

Newton doesn't just score. He leads his team in assists and his ability to create opportunities for his teammates is just as important to UCONN's offense as is his ability to get his own shots.

If there is a weakness in his game, it may be that he's only a 32% shooter from 3-point range. Thus, Bama has to find a way to keep him out of the lane and make him get his points from the perimeter.

Cam Spencer is a jack of all trades that Alabama must keep in check

In his first season at UCONN, Rutgers transfer Cam Spencer has become an extension of his head coach, Dan Hurley. In fact, some might say he's Hurley's favorite player.

“With that [bleepin’] competitive fire,” Hurley said earlier in the NCAA Tournament. “He just drives people, and it's helped me root out a lot of complacency.”

Don't think that Spencer is just a hustler though. He has skills that make him an integral part of the UCONN rotation.

Averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, he shoots 44% from 3-point range and 92% from the free-throw line. He also comes up with 1.4 steals per game.

Spencer is the fire that drives UCONN. He brings a bit of everything to the table and he keeps his teammates on their toes. That's why Alabama can't allow him to impact the game by doing a little bit of everything to help his team win.