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No. 1 Alabama readies for NCAA Event “dwelling” sport

BIRMINGHAM, Ala, (AP) — Alabama has the No. 1 overall NCAA Tournament seed, one of the best players in college basketball and likely a couple of games in its own backyard.For a Crimson Tide team that’s been an easy target for opposing fans over the past two months, playing less than an hour from campus

No. 1 Alabama readies for NCAA Event “dwelling” sport

BIRMINGHAM, Ala, (AP) — Alabama has the No. 1 total NCAA Event seed, among the finest gamers in school basketball and sure a few video games in its personal yard.

For a Crimson Tide workforce that’s been a simple goal for opposing followers over the previous two months, enjoying lower than an hour from campus is not any small matter. It means a lot of the taunts can be changed by cheers at Legacy Enviornment, particularly for All-America freshman Brandon Miller. Hostile crowds have focused Miller with taunts since his presence at the scene of a fatal shooting was made public.

It is going to be an overwhelmingly crimson and white crowd at Thursday’s sport in opposition to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, (24-10) which advanced with a 75-71 win over Southeast Missouri State in a play-in sport for its first NCAA Event win.

“This isn’t technically a house sport, however I positive hope that Legacy is packed out like a house sport,” Alabama coach Nate Oats stated. “And it’s been good to play in entrance of our personal followers and a few pleasant followers in Coleman. I hope we get an analogous therapy right here at Legacy.”

On the courtroom, Alabama (29-5) is among the many favorites to win the nationwide title, behind solely Houston according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Off the courtroom, the Tide are a lot much less well-liked nowadays outdoors of their very own giddy fan base. Living proof: The safety guard accompanying Miller on the area on Wednesday after a number of the offended messages Oats stated have been despatched his method.

“In case you guys noticed a few of what I’ve seen despatched his method, I believe you’ll perceive why that’s the case,” Oats stated. “I don’t need to get into all that. Your complete state of affairs, as you understand, is only a heartbreaking state of affairs on all accounts.”

Police tied each he and freshman level guard Jaden Bradley to the scene of a capturing that led to capital homicide fees in opposition to then-Tide teammate Darius Miles and one other man. Although neither have been accused of any crime or been held out of a sport, police say Miles had left his gun at the back of Miller’s vehicle that night.

By means of all of it, Alabama has gained each the Southeastern Convention regular-season and tournament titles with Miller main the way in which.

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The Tide returned to the No. 1 ranking in The Related Press ballot for the second time this season. The primary was adopted swiftly by a loss at Tennessee.

“We’ve been No. 1 in the course of the season,” Miller stated. “I really feel like earlier than we weren’t as ready, however I really feel like now we’re extra ready for something that comes our method.”

The Islanders got here in Thursday savoring the “shock the world” prospects — if not the problem of defending MIller.

“Everyone within the nation and a lot of the world will know who the heck we’re if we beat them,” Corpus Christi coach Steve Lutz stated. “That is what you dream about whenever you’re slightly child. That is what you dream about whenever you’re a coach. You’ve obtained to take pleasure in each second.”

The Islanders have needed to overcome the left knee damage to Terrion Murdix, the Southland Convention defensive participant of the 12 months. He was harm within the league championship sport.

In different South area video games:

No. 9 West Virginia vs. N o. 8 Maryland at Birmingham, Ala., 12:15 p.m. (CBS)

A few coaches’ youngsters can be going through one another when West Virginia meets Maryland.

Bob Huggins of the Mountaineers performed highschool hoops for his father, Charles. The Terrapins are guided by Kevin Willard, whose father Ralph was a head coach at Holy Cross, Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky.

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“My mom wished me to be a health care provider,” Huggins quipped. “I discovered what number of lessons you needed to take to do this, and (determined) there’s obtained to be a greater method out than this.”

Willard joked that he was the product of “youngster abuse.”

“My first reminiscence of life helps my dad re-varnish St. Dominic’s Excessive College basketball health club,” he stated. “I used to be on the market pouring the polyurethane whereas he was sweeping it.”

Huggins can be making his twenty fourth look on the NCAA Event. The Mountaineers (19-14) obtained in regardless of a 7-11 mark within the brutal Massive 12.

Maryland (21-11) returned to the NCAAs in Willard’s first season after the departure of Mark Turgeon.


No. 2 Arizona vs . No. 15 Princeton at Sacramento, California, 4 p.m. (TNT)

Princeton coach Mitch Henderson was a participant on the Tigers workforce that famously upset defending champion UCLA within the match 27 years in the past. Now he’s seeking to coach the workforce to a win over an even bigger program — actually.

If the Fifteenth-seeded Tigers are going to have any probability in opposition to No. 2 seed Arizona, they might want to discover a method to neutralize 7-foot middle Oumar Ballo and 6-11 ahead Azuolas Tubelis.

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“Measurement, like as in Ballo and Tubelis, we haven’t seen something like that,” Henderson stated. “These guys are huge and so they’re quick. Once more, we will follow with guys which have broomsticks hooked up to their arms. That is going to be new for us in some methods.”


No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State, at Sacramento, California 1:40 p.m. (TNT)

Missouri guards Nick Honor and Tre Gomillion don’t want anybody to warn them concerning the high quality of play within the mid-major conferences earlier than the Tigers tackle Utah State of the Mountain West.

Honor started his school profession within the Atlantic 10 at Fordham and Gomillion transferred to Missouri from Cleveland State of the Horizon League.

“We don’t get caught up an excessive amount of in stage in terms of basketball,” Honor stated. “Though we’re on the excessive main stage, we nonetheless have the mid-major chip on our shoulder as a result of on the finish of the day we’re nonetheless underrated and slept on across the nation. We don’t get caught up in that an excessive amount of. Utah State is an efficient workforce.”

The Aggies really feel the schedule they performed within the Mountain West, which obtained 4 groups into the match, was a very good check for what they are going to see on Thursday. Now they hope to get their first match win since 2001.


No. 13 Furman vs. No. 4 Virginia at Orlando, Fla., 12:40 p.m. (TRU).

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Virginia is returning to the location of certainly one of its worst NCAA Event video games in historical past. No, not the first-round stunner to Sixteenth-seeded Maryland-Baltimore County in 2018. The Cavaliers scored simply 39 factors in a 26-point drubbing to Florida on the Amway Middle in 2017.

It stays the lowest-scoring sport in this system’s match historical past.

“Not lots has modified on this match,” UVA coach Tony Bennett stated. “You’d higher be prepared.”

The fourth-seeded Cavaliers (25-7) count on a greater exhibiting in opposition to No. 13 seed Furman (27-7) on Thursday. The Paladins have gained six in row and 12 of 13, culminating with successful the Southern Convention Event greater than every week in the past.

Furman has a dynamic duo of tremendous seniors – guard Mike Bothwell and ahead Jalen Slawson – who may pose issues for Bennett’s stout pack-line protection.


No. 12 Charleston vs. No. 5 San Diego State at Orlando, Fla., 3:10 p.m. (TRU).

If Faculty of Charleston’s gamers can match coach Pat Kelsey’s vitality and depth, they need to be in fine condition of their first-round matchup in opposition to fifth-seeded San Diego State (27-6) on Thursday.

The 47-year-old Kelsey is understood for hanging on rims at follow to get his guys’ consideration. However he divulged slightly secret Wednesday.

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“Folks assume I’m going up with my vertical leap,” he stated. “I really pull myself up on the web and seize that unhealthy boy.”

Gamers nonetheless raved about Kelsey swinging from the rim like he’s in a dunk contest.

“Coach thinks he’s 7 toes,” guard Dalton Bolon stated. “He’ll be strolling round along with his chest out and stuff like that. … He’s obtained essentially the most vitality I’ve ever seen on daily.”

The Twelfth-seeded Cougars (31-3) have gained 10 in a row beneath Kelsey, culminating with the Colonial Athletic Affiliation Event title. Their final and solely NCAA Event victory got here in 1997.

Now they get a San Diego State workforce that landed in Orlando after midnight because of its constitution flight getting delayed due to restricted air area concerning President Joe Biden and Air Pressure One.

The Aztecs have misplaced 4 straight NCAA Event video games, together with the final two years as the upper seed.


AP Sports activities Writers Paul Newberry, Josh Dubow and Mark Lengthy contributed to this report.


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