What a weekend! March Madness 2023 tipped off, and it was chock full of surprises in all corners of the tournament. Various bracket-busting upsets took place over the first few days of the NCAA tourney, and the upcoming final stretches promise to be equally chaotic.
The Alabama Crimson Tide is one of only two 1-seed teams remaining (the other is Houston in the Midwest region of the bracket). The team has solidified its spot in the Sweet Sixteen. Could the Crimson Tide make it to the Elite Eight? Chances are looking high, but one team stands in Alabama’s way.
Alabama entered the 2023 March Madness tournament as a 1-seed, matched up with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Truth be told, it wasn’t much of a close game. Alabama handily defeated Texas A&M-CC in a 96-75 blowout. It was to be expected, but if the 2023 tournament is any indicator, a 1-seed victory over a 16-seed is never a guarantee. Nonetheless, Alabama advanced to the round of 32, where it would face Maryland, a team fresh off its two-point victory against West Virginia.
Alabama continued its impressive run in its match-up against Maryland. Jahvon Quinerly nabbed 22 points—leading the game in scoring. Brandon Miller, an up-and-coming Freshman, scored 19 points.
The Maryland Terrapins couldn’t answer with scoring runs of their own. Alabama obliterated the Terps in a 73-51 victory.
Alabama won both of its first and second-round games by more than 20 points. IT’s the only team still in the tournament to achieve this feat. In other words, Alabama looks good heading into its Sweet Sixteen game against San Diego State.
San Diego owes its Sweet Sixteen slot at least partially to Virginia. The 4-seed University of Virginia Cavaliers suffered a devastating first-round loss to the 13-seed Furman University.
Following San Diego State’s 63-57 first-round victory over Charleston, the Aztecs trounced Furman, soaring to the Sweet Sixteen with a 75-52 blowout and squashing Furmans Cinderella-story hopes.
This week, the Alamaba Crimson Tide will meet the San Diego State Aztecs in a hotly anticipated Sweet Sixteen contest. It’s hard to discount San Diego State; the team has put on quite a performance in its two games thus far. On the other hand, this Alabama team has proven itself nigh-unstoppable in its two 20+ point victories.
Plus, it’s important to consider Alabama’s track record in March Madness. The Crimson Tide has never made the Final Four, and by extension never won the tournament. This year could be a recipe for success. Should Alabama succeed against San Diego State, the Elite Eight will pit the Crimson Tide against either Creighton or Princeton, two teams who upset better-seeded squads in the early rounds. This Alabama team has on-court chemistry and could make a run towards its first Final Four appearance or—dare I say it?—March Madness victory.
Time will tell, and we first need to see how the San Diego State Aztecs challenge the Crimson Tide on Friday.
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