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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

Good news in the bad end to Alabama's great season

Alabama basketball finds itself in a strange place today, a place riddled with questions after finding no answers in another Bittersweet 16. Who else besides Brandon Miller goes pro? Who leaves for more minutes and NIL dollars? Is a mid-range jumper so terrible when you can't hit water from a boat from deep and your layups keep getting sent back into your teeth?

Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide returned home from Louisville not to a raucous celebration but a massive contradiction. It's a place no college basketball program wants to be and every college basketball program hopes to reach.

Call me crazy, but hear me out. Getting knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by San Diego State made a powerful point. Alabama basketball has arrived.

Home too soon, to be sure, but skip the snark and think big picture. This team failed to meet the expectations this program has created. This team did so many wonderful things that the things left undone hurt more now and will appear larger in the rearview mirror down the road.

Alabama basketball has reached that rare place occupied by Alabama football, where everything you do is magnified and nothing you do will satisfy you or your fan base short of the ultimate victory.

Good enough to win 31 games, to capture the SEC regular-season and tournament titles, to earn a No. 1 ranking and the No. 1 overall seed is great. Or should be. In theory. In reality, it's not good enough when you're not good enough to reach the Final Four for the first time.

All in all, that says good things about the state of your program in the face of deep disappointment. ...

Read the rest of Kevin's column on a program that's not just a one-hit wonder. Only in The Lede.

Alabama players look on in dejected disbelief as their season ends in a Sweet 16 upset loss to San Diego State.



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