In its’ 59-45 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday, Alabama failed to reach the 60-point mark for the first time this season. One reason for the relative lack of the offensive production was the absence of starting guard Trevor Releford, who was held out of the game due to what was termed as “precautionary reasons.”
The reason for the move: Releford’s been dealing with a lingering hip injury, and according to Michael Casagrande of AL.com the point guard’s status for Alabama’s game against No. 12 Wichita State has yet to be decided.
A lingering hip “aggravation” was the reason they shut him down for the night. It bothered him since before the team’s trip to New York on Thanksgiving weekend.
“It just needs to get better,” Grant said. “It’s limiting his mobility a little bit. We just made a decision that he needed to let it calm down a little bit and get back. It shouldn’t be anything long term.”
Releford currently leads three Crimson Tide scoring in double figures with an average of 16.4 points to go along with 2.2 assists per game. Releford factors into 25.2% of Alabama’s possessions this season, and he’s playing an average of 32.9 minutes per game (fellow guard Retin Obasohan is tied for the lead in minutes). Given how Wichita State can get after opponents defensively, a less than 100% Releford (or no Releford at all) would make things very difficult on Alabama.
They’ll have their work cut out for them either way, but Alabama needs Releford on the floor if they’re to have a shot at upsetting the Shockers.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.
Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
This isn’t really a secret.
Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:
Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.