Nick Pringle Dominates the Round of 64
To start the 2023 NCAA Tournament, the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team dominated Texas A&M-CC 96-75 in the Round of 64. Unlike most games this year, the Crimson Tide were not led by Brandon Miller, but by the paint presence of Nick Pringle.
The junior from Seabrook, S.C. coming off the bench dropped 19 points, which was the most by any Alabama player. Where Pringle shined though was his rebounding. Coming into the game head coach Nate Oats saw that the tallest player on the Islander's starting lineup was 6'9. Because of Pringle's height advantage, he brought in five offensive rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds (15 total).
"Obviously Nick played well," said Oats. "Pringle is athletic, strong, and he plays hard. I mean he ended up with 15 rebounds and 19 points. If he could have made a free throw, he could've ended up with around 25 and 15. You know he was good, he brings a lot of energy to this team".
Pringle before this game was averaging around eight minutes a game, 2.7 points, and two rebounds a game. He was often brought in when Alabama needed some energy or starting center Charles Bediako was having a bad game or in foul trouble. Even though the transfer from Wofford did not play many minutes this season, he was still a fan favorite and a crucial piece to the Crimson Tide's successful season.
Pringle was not the only player off the bench who had a big night. The bench in total scored 49 out of the Crimson Tide's 96 total points. Even though Pringle led the way with 15 points, Nimari Burnett had 11 points shooting 3-6 from the three-point line, Noah Gurley had eight points, and Rylan Griffen had five points.
"We always stay ready," said Burnett when talking about the bench. "We have a great starting group but if they are not performing then we have a great bench to either push that leads forward or get the lead back. Having great depth on this team not only makes us one of the best teams in the country and I think it showed today".
Alabama has no time to rest though. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide will be facing off against the Maryland Terrapins in the Round of 32. The time is still to be determined but these two teams have recent history. In the 2021 Round of 32, these two teams met and Alabama dominated the Terrapins, 96-77, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. With the same prize on the line, Alabama looks to continue its historic season by clinching a birth in their second Sweet Sixteen in three years.