TUSCALOOSA Mark Gottfried has the country’s most unique perspective on this weekend’s NCAA Basketball Final Four, and the national media are flocking to the University of Alabama coach to get his insight.
That’s because Gottfried and his Crimson Tide basketball team have played three of the four teams in this weekend’s Final Four. Alabama has beaten two of the teams, Florida and LSU, and came just short of that goalby a goalagainst UCLA.
Alabama played LSU twice during the 2006 season, falling 68-57 in Baton Rouge on January 21, two weeks after Alabama lost for the season All-Southeastern Conference forward, Chuck Davis. It was a happier story for Alabama when the Tigers came to Tuscaloosa on February 4. Led by 21 points from sophomore point guard Ronald Steele, Alabama beat LSU 67-62. Florida came calling in Tuscaloosa as a Top 10 team on February 26. Steele led the win again, this time powered by 19 points and a freshman rebound performance from Richard Hendrix that included 17 boards. Alabama played UCLA in San Diego’s Cox Arena on March 18 in the second round of the Oakland Regional. Alabama fell short in that game, losing 62-59 to the Bruins to end the Tide’s NCAA tournament run.
Between Monday morning and Tuesday evening, Gottfried had received 31 interview requests from the media, this in addition to addressing a group of a half dozen beatwriters from Alabama’s daily newspapers as well as area television stations.
Among the national shows he will appear on this week is ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Sunday morning at 8:30 CT with Bob Ley. He’ll be live on ESPN News with its Final Four preview show on Friday night between 6 7 p.m. CT. CSS will air an interview with Gottfried on “The 3-Point Club” with former Mississippi State coach Richard Williams on Friday at 2:30 p.m. CT and again at 9 p.m. CT and again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. He was on Fox SportsNet’s March Madness Coaches Show with Tim Brando on Tuesday.
His many radio appearances include Dan Patrick’s ESPN radio show on Friday, as well as a 7 a.m. CT appearance on “Mayhem in the Morning” on 790 the Zone in Atlanta, Andy Katz’s ESPN show on Saturday, Sporting News Radio, and “Game Time” with Seth Greenberg and Sean Farnham on Saturday at 11:05 a.m. CT, among others. Newspapers from Los Angeles to Atlanta have also called for his take on the match-ups.
Gottfried will be in Indianapolis beginning Thursday to attend the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention which is always held the weekend of the Final Four in the same city as the Final Four. He’ll attend Saturday’s semifinal games but will return to Tuscaloosa on Sunday afternoon.