The ninth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide (21-11) will face the eighth-seeded Creighton Bluejays today at 12:40 pm CT in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC. The Tide, who is in the Midwest Region, will be making their 19th tournament appearance and first since 2006. Today's meeting is the first between the two programs.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant said he and his team are excited about the opportunity to go dancing again for the first time in over half a decade.
"We're excited to be here," said Grant, who is making his third trip to the tournament as a head coach and first at Alabama. "We are looking forward to our first game here in the NCAA Tournament. I know for our guys, it's something that we have looked forward to and have planned for over the course of the season, and obviously we know we're playing a very good opponent in Creighton. It is very impressive what they have been able to accomplish over the course of the season."
The Tide, who is led by senior forward JaMychal Green and his team-high 14 points and 7.4 rebounds a game, have a very contrasting style of play from that of the Missouri Valley Conference champion Bluejays. While the Tide prides itself on playing good defense and keeping a slow pace of play, coach Greg McDermott's Jays average 80 points a game, good enough for 7th best in the nation. McDermott's son, Doug, averages a conference best 23.2 points a game while also pulling down a team-high 8.2 rebounds. He is the third leading scorer in the country. Coach Grant has made it clear that the Tide has their work cut out for them.
"I think that obviously when you put up the numbers that they (Creighton) put up from an offensive standpoint, that tends to get your attention," added Grant. "For us, from a defensive standpoint, that's our identity. I think that allows us and gives us an opportunity every night. That's what we tell our guys, and I think that our guys have done a good job of understanding who we are and what we need to do to have the best chance to win."
Friday's game is scheduled to be broadcast on TBS.