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Bama Falls In NIT Finals

Alabama’s NIT run came to a sad end last night in a 66-57 loss to Wichita State in the tournament finals.  The Tide’s shots didn’t fall and once again JaMychal Green found himself in foul trouble.  This time, Bama couldn’t find a work-around.

“We lost to a better team today,” Anthony Grant said.  “I can live with that.  Hopefully, this experience will makes us better.”  He added: “Their depth, physicality and skill were better than ours today.  They were a better team today, but it take nothing away from the season our team had.  It’s a disappointment for our seniors, but for our younger players, it’s a building block.”

After starting the season 5-6, the Crimson Tide lost just six games in their final 26 contests.  In reach the NIT finals they also concluded a unbeaten season at Coleman Coliseum. 

Alabama’s assistants earned bonuses for their work in the NIT.  Green, Trevor Relford made the NIT’s all-tournament team.  Bama’s players will also take away some great memories from their trip to New York and Madison Square Garden.

Obviously, the NCAA Tournament is every team’s goal.  Not getting a bid on Selection Sunday was a bitter disappointment from Grant’s team.  But the coach was able to focus his team and take advantage of the opportunity they were given, albeit in the NIT. 

Expectations for 2011-12 will be higher.  And the offseason work in Tuscaloosa will likely include some form of raise or extension for the Tide’s popular new coach.

Not bad for a team off the season heading in a totally different direction.

 


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