Friday, March 9, 2012

'Bama falls short vs Gators

For much of the afternoon Friday, Florida seemed to control Alabama and keep them at distance by hitting timely threes and forcing turnovers. At one point, it looked like we were headed for a repeat of the past two 'Bama-UF games that saw the teams even at the half only to watch the Gators romp to victory in the 2nd half.

Today was a little bit different, which is encouraging for Tide fans. Florida turned a 26-24 halftime lead into a 12 point advantage early in the 2nd half, only to watch Alabama battle back and tie the game at 51-51 and fight the Gators down to the final shot.

Alabama would eventually find themselves down 64-57 with 2:00 remaining, only to scrap back behind free throws from Green and a corner 3 from Trevor Lacey to make it a 2 point game. And when 'Bama forced a turnover in the final minute, the Tide had the ball and a 2 chances to tie in the final seconds, but could not convert on a free throw to tie with 20 seconds remaining or on a 3 by Lacey at the buzzer.

Granted, we're not in to moral victories around here, but Alabama did show resolve that was missing the past two seasons vs the Gators. That is progress for this program, probably not as fast as some would like, but sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward and thats exactly what Anthony Grant has accomplished in the past month at Alabama.

Now the Tide sits and waits for its name to be called on Sunday, and it will. Probably they are looking at a 9-10 seed, which means Round 1 is winnable and Round 2 comes down to match ups. Not many people thought after a Saturday night defeat in Baton Rouge that Alabama would be in a position to make the NCAA Tournament, but they are. Thats a testament to its tough defense and a coaching staff forcing their players to buy in to its style. Because of these things, 'Bama will be able to compete with any team that shows up across from them on the bracket next week.

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