Friday, March 11, 2011
They were dead,,,,,
It was over. 11:53, 7 minutes till midnight, the Crimson Tide Basketball team was in the electric chair, wired up, already given its last meal at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs. Last rights were administered, Joe Lunardi, Jerry Palm and all the other Bracket Geeks were sitting there as witnesses, waiting for NCAA Chairmen Gene Smith to flip the switch to on when the clock would strike zero, frying Alabama's NCAA Tournament Bubble. The only thing that could save the Tide was a last second call from the governor.
But then it happened, the phone rang, it wasn't the governor, but instead it was Anthony Grant calling a time out as UGA just went up by 14, 48-34 with 7 minutes left. He got in the face of Tony Mitchell and told him to cut off the head of the montsor (UGA's Leslie). The ball went into the post to Jaymichael Green who scored several points at the foul line to work the Tide back into the game. Junkyard Dog Chris Hine's defense helped force turnovers and stops, culminating with Hine's tip in during the final minute to make it a 53-51 game. When Trevor Releford's slashing lay up fell through the nylon with 4 seconds left, Alabama had forced overtime thanks to Mark Fox's last second time out negating a potential winning basket by the Dawgs.
In overtime, it was all Alabama as UGA missed its final 7 shots after Tony Mitchell's 3 pointer broke a 59-59 tie with 2 minutes remaining. Now the Tide, a gassed and tired team, gets to play another road game at the Georgia Dome against Kentucky as its reward.
But the bigger prize is that Anthony Grant has engineered his team to an unprobable NCAA Berth, basically telling all the so called experts to shove it as Alabama marches on in Atlanta and to the national stage next week.
And right now, with the way Alabama plays defense and considering tournmanet games are grind it out affairs that favor this type of team, nobody wants to see this team on the line across from them come Selection Sunday!