East County Sports

“Bama wonders what happened vs Aztecs

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) looks to make a move against a Maryland defender at Legacy Arena during the second round of the NCAA Tournament. / Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News

2023 LOCAL COVERAGE/  SDSU Men’s Basketball, NCAA Men’s Basketball Sweet 16


By Nick Kelly
Courtesy, The Tuscaloosa News

He needed something tangible to know if he was really there in that moment late Friday night.

“It really was an unbelievable thing,” Burnett said. “I was kind of like smacking myself. Are we here? You wouldn’t think yesterday in practice and yesterday in shootaround this would be our last game.”

Yet when time expired at the KFC Yum! Center, it was. No. 1 seed Alabama basketball had lost to No. 5 seed San Diego State, 71-64, in the Sweet 16.

  • The Aztecs (30-6 overall) advance to the South Region final on Sunday at 10:20 a.m., meeting No. 6 seed Creighton. The Blue Jays (24-12) downed No. 15 Princeton, 86-75.

It brought an end to the Crimson Tide’s season but also put a cap on a NCAA Tournament run for a team that looked like it had the potential to reach the Final Four and possibly win a national championship.

“We’re upset now because we definitely feel like we should have won the game,’ Burnett said, “and feel like. … We didn’t think our season would be ending a week-and-a-half early.”

Many didn’t. Alabama (31-6) was the No. 1 overall seed in the entire field. A national championship wasn’t just a lofty expectation. It was a realistic possibility.

Still, Alabama had a terrific season, one of the best ever in program history. It also can be considered a disappointment. Two things can be true at the same time.

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