This is the furthest the Crimson Tide have ever been in the NCAA tournament, and the latest in the calendar year the Tide have played a game. Alabama took on the defending national champions, the UConn Huskies, in the Final Four.

The stakes have never been higher for Alabama, and when the stars shone brightest, so did Alabama's. There's never been more attention on Alabama basketball, especially in State Farm Stadium, where 100,000 fans packed out an NFL stadium (with extra seating) to watch the Tide and the Huskies.

Alabama did almost everything they needed to in the first half. The Tide shot 72.7% from beyond the arc, collected 15 rebounds, and only committed five turnovers.

Yet a couple of lapses on fast breaks, and those five turnovers had the Crimson Tide trailing at halftime.

Grant Nelson got things started with a quick five points, including Alabama's first three of the game. Mark Sears ended up leading the team in points with 11 in the first half and was perfect on the floor while doing so. Despite Sears, The Tide only shot 50% from the field in the first half. UConn wasn't shooting any better, 46.7% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. The five turnovers by Alabama loomed large over the Crimson Tide at halftime. UConn was averaging 1.419 points per possession in the first half. Despite it, the Tide trailed 44-40.

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It felt like UConn's game plan was to not let Sears keep Alabama in this game enough for the Tide to have a chance. Even still, he had over 20 points yet again.

The second half saw UConn squeeze the life out of Alabama, as they regressed to the mean shooting-wise. The Tide shot 40% from the field in the second half and 25% from three. Clingan made it difficult for Alabama in the paint, which allowed the rest of UConn's players to swarm at the three-point line, making it difficult for Alabama to get any sort of shot up.

Alabama's defense allowed 1.410 points per possession in the game.

Stat Leaders for Alabama

Points: Mark Sears - 24

Assists: Mark Sears, Aaron Estrada - 3

Rebounds: Grant Nelson - 15

The Tide's magical postseason has come to an end at the hands of the UConn Huskies, 86-72.

Wyatt Fulton is on-site in Phoenix for coverage of the NCAA Men's Tournament Final Four for Tide 100.9. Coverage is sponsored by the Sportsbook at Pearl River Resort. Located at Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, they offer traditional sports betting in which guests can bet on all professional league sports and major collegiate sporting events.

The Sportsbook at Pearl River Resort
The Sportsbook at Pearl River Resort

Alabama's Final Four Loss to UConn

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

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Alabama Advances to Their First Final Four

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Alabama's Elite Win over North Carolina in the Sweet 16

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Alabama's Hard-Fought Win Over GCU

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Alabama Men's Basketball vs Charleston

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