The state of Alabama set four groups in the NCAA Match for the 1st time, and which is tremendous, but we all know what is much more crucial this time of yr than some made concept of phony state basketball pleasure, and that’s your personal particular bracket.
Absolutely sure, you may well have developed up a supporter of the song “Sweet Household Alabama,” but that does not necessarily mean penciling the Crimson Tide into the Sweet 16 this time all around would make any rational feeling. It does not. Jacksonville Condition grads, we know you’re thrilled about this staff that backdoored its way into the NCAA Match, but are y’all really likely to pick the Gamecocks above Auburn in the to start with round?
Did not assume so.
If we’re likely to be a basketball condition, then let’s start out performing like it. Rule No.1: Selecting versus your team is not exact same point as seeking your group to eliminate. It is just a business enterprise choice, and all people is pretty much in the organization of bragging legal rights above their fathers or husbands or that jerk manager who refused to enable you off get the job done for the very first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Tournament.
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Excellent information, even though. That jerk boss cannot quit you from having a “mental overall health day” since the tension of not observing just about every second of Memphis vs. Boise Condition (tipoff: 12:45 p.m. Thursday) is as well much to deal with. Bryan Harsin, if that doesn’t function, then just tiptoe out the backdoor when no 1 is looking. We know how it is … and Go Broncos.
Alabama was the to start with staff from the state to find out its vacation spot for the to start with spherical, and the Crimson Tide will now put making its new arena on maintain to shell out for these flights to San Diego. Terrific military city, San Diego. Superior beer, also, and better temperature. A swanky pub known as Bootlegger is the official Alabama bar in city, so don’t imagine that the Crimson Tide will be without having rowdy followers so significantly from residence.
Will Alabama make it to the next weekend, though? Difficult to say simply because Alabama does not even know its opponent.
Most teams uncovered on Assortment Sunday who they would be actively playing in the Spherical of 64, but Alabama need to wait around till Wednesday evening for Notre Dame vs. Rutgers. The Irish and Scarlet Knights have a play-in sport in Dayton, Ohio, for the right to encounter No.6 seed Alabama at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. The Crimson Tide misplaced to UCLA in the Sweet 16 very last 12 months, and the Bruins had been an 11 seed that had to gain a participate in-in recreation just to make the Spherical of 64.
The NCAA Event choice committee possibly has a feeling of humor, or genuinely wants Alabama to be everyone’s favorite team in the match on the next weekend. If Alabama can make it out of San Diego, the Crimson Tide could experience No.2 seed Duke in the Sweet 16. Larger prize, countrywide championship or getting the staff to close Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s job with a decline?
If this is the to start with time you have paid interest to college or university basketball this year, then just know that Alabama no for a longer time has Herb Jones to defend every single participant on the court docket. Lifestyle without having Jones hasn’t been quick for mentor Nate Oats. His workforce was projected to probably be a national contender at the commencing of the year, but inconsistencies throughout the lineup have persisted.
Translation: All people is going to be choosing in opposition to Alabama, so going out on a limb with the Crimson Tide might not be a bad thought. SoCal native Jaden Shackelford must experience appropriate at house, much too.
But my dumb decide out of the West Location: Davidson, which knocked off Alabama 79-78 in Birmingham. There’s a cause the Wildcats gained an at-substantial bid out of the A-10. Davidson is a wonderful crew with a possible NCAA Tournament superstar in 6-7 guard Hyunjung Lee of South Korea. A No.10 seed, Davidson opens the event against No.7 seed Michigan Point out, and Lee will be searching to avenge a lousy shooting night time in the A-10 convention championship recreation, a shocking 64-62 reduction to Richmond.
Speaking of upsets to shock the entire world, Jacksonville State … yeah, no.
I know how a great deal absolutely everyone not affiliated with Auburn wishes to believe that JSU can in some way upset the mighty Tigers in this intra-condition mismatch, but it’s heading to get some all-time March magic for Auburn to go down in the initially round versus a staff that should not really even be in the event.
JSU is dancing only since A-Sun tournament champ Bellarmine was ineligible. JSU received the league’s standard year title, so the Gamecocks get the nod. It is a excellent accomplishment, so let us not take anything at all away from coach Ray Harper and his gamers, but they’re now cannon fodder for Auburn star Jabari Smith. The NCAA Match collection committee didn’t give Auburn a No.1 seed, but this 1st-spherical matchup in opposition to the No.15 seed Gamecocks feels like a consolation prize (tipoff: 11:40 a.m. Friday).
My dumb pick out of the Midwest Region: Of all the No.2 seeds in the tournament, Auburn appears to have the most favorable path to Remaining Four, and an Midwest regional championship video game from No.1 seed Kansas will be a rematch from the 2019 NCAA Match. Auburn, the SEC regular period champ in a banner year for the league, is my dumb pick to make it out of the Chicago regional.
There was only 1 Division I-A convention winner in the condition of Alabama this year, and that was UAB, which is dancing for the initially time since 2015. No.12 seed UAB is heading to be a trendy choose to make the Sweet 16, and extended-time fans of the Southside Dragons absolutely love this Round of 64 matchup towards No.5 seed Houston (tipoff: 8:20 p.m. Friday).
UAB is 18-6 all-time from the Cougars, an previous rival from when CUSA was really a basketball meeting. I wrote in advance of the CUSA event that UAB essential to acquire the conference crown and make the NCAA Tournament to truly kickstart the Blazers’ basketball revival and that is accurately what occurred. A win towards Houston would matchup UAB with either No.4 Illinois or No.13 seed Chattanooga, the SoCon winner.
UAB characteristics one particular of the NCAA Tournament’s countrywide players to observe, guard Jordan “Jelly” Walker, who set a school document this season with 42 details from Middle Tennessee State, and then dropped 40 points towards MTSU in the convention event. Walker is a reputable star, and the sort of participant who can guide a team on a run in the NCAA Event.
All that reported, my dumb choose out of the South Region is not the Blazers. No.1 Arizona received the Pac-12 convention and tournament titles, and the Wildcats have the most favorable highway to the Closing Four.
My dumb decide out of the East Region: From the starting, I stated select these brackets with your brains and not your hearts, so who else could it be other than Kentucky?
Joseph Goodman is a columnist for the Alabama Media Team, and creator of “We Want Bama: A year of hope and the producing of Nick Saban’s ‘ultimate team’”. You can locate him on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr.