For Alabama Crimson Tide guard Nimari Burnett, the road to Friday's Sweet 16 game against the San Diego State Aztecs wasn't easy.

Burnett transferred to the Capstone by way of Texas Tech after the 2020-21 season. However, he injured his knee before last season even began and was forced to sit out the entire campaign, which included Alabama's second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. This season, he was shelved with a wrist injury and subsequent surgery following the Crimson Tide's upset win over Houston, the country's top ranked team at the time.

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Alabama, the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, defeated Maryland in Birmingham last weekend to clinch a trip to its second Sweet 16 in three seasons. Burnett talked about what it meant to overcome that adversity and help the Crimson Tide reach these types of milestones.

"It's exciting, being here in this moment with these guys," Burnett said after Alabama's win over the Terrapins. "These guys have seen me go through some injuries that were very unfortunate, and they always have my back every step of the way."

He's averaging 5.8 points and two rebounds per game during this season. Burnett has proven to be an impact player in several ways, including perimeter offense and some fantastic defense.

"Having the people who are responsible for helping me get back, get back healthy is a great and special thing to be a part of," he said. "It's a special thing to overcome, and being here in this moment, it's all worth it."

The Crimson Tide is set to tip off against San Diego State in Louisville at approximately 5:30 p.m. CT on Friday evening.

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