Congratulations to Villanova on winning the NCAA Basketball Championship on April 2nd. You now have three championships with two being in the last three years, and now you're behind UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, and Connecticut. Its okay, you’re still more of a basketball school Michigan State (Sorry Draymond Green). While I do applaud the successes of Villanova for winning two national championships in three years similar to Alabama in football, now comes a question. Is Alabama the runner-up in basketball because they lost to Villanova in the second round?
We all know Michigan is the runner-up after their magical run, but Alabama deserves some recognition. We have all seen the posts on social media saying this team lost to this team so this team is better than the other team. Also, we’re still listening to UCF claiming a national championship and even being identified as a national champion by Colley Matrix and Governor Rick Scott signing a resolution recognizing UCF as national champions the day of the National Championship game.
Alabama did lose to the national champion which is huge because in the game against Villanova Alabama did keep close in the first half while Villanova ran away with the game in the second half. Alabama scored 27 points in the first half while Michigan scored 28. Villanova, in the first half, scored 32 and 37 in the games which are both pretty close in scoring. In the second half Villanova scored 42 against Michigan and 49 against Alabama while Alabama scored 31 points and Michigan scored 34. So you be the judge how similar were these games.
Michigan is more of a basketball school winning a national championship and being known for the fab five players and many of their former players going on to win an NBA championship. Alabama did pretty well this season. Being completely honest, Alabama has never been viewed as a basketball school but this year that changed with the addition of Collin Sexton and John Petty. Similar to Duke, Alabama had a very young team but what is good about this young team is that they grew throughout the season and many of these players will return for next year. Will I say that Alabama will win the championship in basketball next year? Right now it's too early to tell but what I can say is that this team is talented and can make a run similar to this past year.
When you hear Alabama you don’t think of basketball all-stars but one thing you do think about is how they have grown and changed since the hiring of Avery Johnson. It might not appear that way on the record but these players have become men and are on the right track not only to graduating but being successful whether it is in basketball or their career choice. While it can be great to be successful in a sport it is also great to have a coach as a role model to help develop you as a player and as a person.
In the end, I know that Alabama is not the runner-up in basketball this year but Alabama did have a great run to make it in the tournament while being in conference with many schools categorized as basketball schools, such as Kentucky and Florida (and for some reason this season Tennessee and Auburn). Alabama has a long way to go but they can be successful similarly to the way they are in football by creating a process. Kevin Garnett says anything is possible: Alabama winning a National Championship in basketball is possible.