Alabama Basketball Preview - NCAA Second Round vs. Creighton
No. 9 Alabama (21-11) vs. No. 8 Creighton (28-5)
March 16 | 12:40 p.m. CDT
Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum
March 15, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. -
The men's basketball team (21-11) will take on Missouri Valley Conference Champion Creighton (28-5) on Friday in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The game is slated to tip off at 12:40 p.m. CT in Greensboro Coliseum.
"We're excited to be here," said head coach Anthony 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 Crimson Tide, the ninth seed in the Midwest Region, is making its 19th tournament appearance and first since 2006, while the eighth-seeded Bluejays will be making their 17th overall appearance and eighth in the last 14 seasons. Friday's meeting will be the first between the two programs.
The game will feature contrasting styles of play, as Alabama's defense, ranked ninth in the nation, has allowed just 58.1 points per game, while Creighton's offense stands at No. 7 in the nation, scoring an average of 80.0 points per contest. The two teams have one common opponent on the season in Wichita State. The Tide defeated the Shockers, 70-60, in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and the Jays went 1-1 versus Wichita State this year, winning 68-61 on the road and falling 89-68 to the Shockers at home.
"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."
Alabama is led in scoring by senior forward JaMychal Green, who is averaging 14.0 points per game as well as a team-best 7.4 rebounds per outing. Green has recorded double-doubles in three of his last four games, which includes a 22-point, 10-rebound performance against Florida in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Freshman guard Trevor Lacey was also a big contributor to the Tide's offense in the SEC Tournament, scoring a team-high 15 points in 17 minutes against South Carolina followed by 11 points versus the Gators.
Creighton is led by sophomore forward Doug McDermott, who leads the MVC and ranks third nationally in scoring with an average of 23.2 points per game, while also adding a team-high 8.2 rebounds. He is followed by senior guard Antoine Young, who contributes 12.5 points per game in addition to 4.5 assists.
Friday's game will air on TBS and can also be heard on the radio affiliates of the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The winner of the game will advance to the third round on Sunday to face the winner of the North Carolina/Vermont contest.