March 11, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama men's basketball team will make its first trip to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament under head coach Anthony Grant as the Crimson Tide faces Creighton on March 16 in Greensboro, N.C.
The Crimson Tide (21-11) earned the ninth seed in the Midwest Region as an at-large selection while Creighton (28-5) earned the No. 8 seed as the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion. The two teams will tip off on Friday at 12:40 p.m. CDT with the contest broadcast on TBS.
"We are obviously excited to be included in the NCAA Tournament this year," Grant said. "I think our guys worked extremely hard through the course of this year. This was a goal we set at the beginning of this season - to put ourselves in a position where would could play in this tournament at the end of this year. I'm really happy for JaMychal Green, as a senior, to have a chance to experience the NCAA Tournament and a chance to continue his career as long as we can continue to win."
The tournament appearance is the Tide's 19th in program history but its first since 2006. Creighton is making its 17th appearance and eighth in the last 14 years.
"Obviously we have great respect for Creighton knowing what they've accomplished over the course of the year," Grant said of the Tide's opponent. "As we get more information on them, we will begin to prepare our guys for what lies in front of us. We are going to focus on doing the best job we can in preparing for them."
The winner of the Alabama vs. Creighton will advance to face the winner of North Carolina vs. Lamar/Vermont contest.