LOOK: Tide Touches Down in California
The Crimson Tide officially arrived in California for their first round matchup with the winner of Wednesday night's faceoff between Rutgers and Notre Dame, and did so in style, hopping off the jet in sunny San Diego.
Alabama, fresh off of three straight losses, culminating with a first round exit in the SEC Tournament, is looking to regroup at the big dance and make a run.
While neither team the Tide may face in round one had an overly successful season, both Rutgers and Notre Dame pose unique threats to Alabama and could play spoil to a potential tournament run.
With Rutgers, defense is key, as the Scarlet Knights currently rank top-50 in the country in defensive efficiency, allowing just 65.8 points per game. Excellent play from names like Ron Harper, Jr., who averages over 15 points per game with nearly six rebounds, helped the annual conference bottom dweller to their most conference wins since joining the Big-10 in 2014.
As for the Fighting Irish, Notre Dame plays a style very similar to that of Alabama, where spacing is most important. The Irish average 9.2 threes per game, and have gone 14-1 in matchups where they make at least 10. While they certainly shoot at a high volume, Notre Dame also managed to shoot at a very high percentage, making almost 40% of their triples.
No matter who Alabama faces off against in their round one matchup, the Crimson Tide will be in for a tough game and will need to play better than in recent weeks if they hope to win.
The Tide will tip-off against either Rutgers or Notre Dame on Friday afternoon at 3:15 P.M CST.