GREENSBORO, N.C. -
The No. 9 seeded Alabama men's basketball team fell to No. 8 Creighton, 58-57, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a last-second three-point shot by sophomore Trevor Releford fell short.
"In my mind this doesn't diminish what this team has been able to accomplish over the course of the season," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "I am extremely proud of our entire team and it is has been an honor and a privilege to coach them. For our only senior, JaMychal Green, I would have liked him to experience sustained success in this tournament, but unfortunately, for us, our season ends here today."
Alabama, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006, is now 18-19 all-time in the tourney and finishes the season at 21-12 while Creighton climbs to 29-5 on the year.
Releford led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 14 points while senior JaMychal Green closed out his Alabama career with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Freshman Trevor Lacey chipped in 13 points and five rebounds on the day. Defensively, the Tide held Creighton forward Doug McDermott, the nation's third-leading scorer coming into the game, to just 16 points.
After leading the game 30-23 coming out of halftime, Green started the second half the way he started the game, hitting the opening basket. Alabama would soon take an 11-point advantage, its largest of the game, off a three-pointer from Releford. The Bluejays then answered with a 12-1 run, tying the contest at 37 with 13:27 to play.
The Tide would hold onto the lead until the 5:40 mark when a layup by McDermott gave Creighton a one-point edge, 51-50. The Bluejays hit their ninth three-pointer of the game with 2:44 remaining to give them a seven-point lead, which would be cut to four on the ensuing possession as junior guard Andrew Steele answered with a three of his own. Alabama was able to cut it to one off a layup from Steele with 19 seconds to play. After a Creighton fouls and a flurry of timeouts, Releford took the last shot as time expired.
In the first half, Green put the Tide on the board first with a jumper at the 19:09 mark. Creighton went on to score seven straight points over the next three minutes, making the first of four lead changes in the half. Alabama would even the game at 7-7 following a layup and three-pointer from freshman guard Trevor Lacey.
The Bluejays would then sink back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to pull ahead by six with 12:53 remaining in the first half. The Tide held Creighton scoreless over the next four minutes, allowing Alabama to jump back in front by two. The Bluejays would, once again, hit consecutive three-pointers to take a four-point edge at the 8:21 mark. The Tide responded, outscoring Creighton 15-4 throughout the duration of the half to take a 30-23 lead at halftime.