NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Preview: Villanova/Alabama

The Crimson Tide were on the bring of not even making the tournament when they were down by 1 to Texas A&M with 4.4 seconds left, when freshman phenom Collin Sexton did this:

After that Alabama hit another gear and got all the way to the SEC tournament finals, before losing to Kentucky. And after their first round victory over Virginia Tech, they have all the confidence in the world.

Obvioiusly, Sexton (19.2 pts/gm) is the steering wheel driving the car. He’s also the accelerator, gas in the engine, cog in the middle and any other mechanical metaphor one could come up with. Donta Hall & John Petty (10.9 & 10.4 pts/gm, respectively) are the only other players to average double figures on the team. The Tide will need to shoot a high percentage, as they aren’t a particularly good rebounding team (136th in the country). They also only shoot 67.2% as a team from the FT line. That usually doesn’t bode well in March. Especially in close games.

The Wildcats are possibly the best team left in the tournament. They come in with the best offense in basketball, as this team might be better than the one that cut down the nets two years ago. They have 6 players that average double figures in pts/gm: Jalen Brunsen, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Phil Booth, Omari Spellman, & Eric Paschall. They can score as soon as they step off the bus.

And don’t sleep on their defense either. It’s a top 25 defense in the country. A great offense AND a rock solid defense? Well, that sounds like a recipe for winning basketball games. Which the Wildcats have been. Because they’re good. We just mentioned it in the previous sentences. It’s like you’re not even paying attention or something.

Anyhoo, the line is Villanova (-11). When Alabama played Kentucky (ranked 25th in Adjusted Offense & 22nd in Adjusted Defense) in the SEC conference championship game, they lost by 23. Villanova is ranked 1st in Adj O & 24th in Adj D. 🤔🤔🤔 Nova by 15.

PS – Some might describe Collin Sexton as brash…