Alabama/Indiana game notes

For the 16th time since 1975, the University of Alabama men's basketball team is playing in the NCAA tournament. The Crimson Tide's name was called into the 2003 bracket at approximately 5:32 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 16 in what would turn out to be a match-up made in media heaven.

Alabama, 17-11 overall, is the ten seed in the Midwest. It plays seven seed Indiana University, 20-12, in the first round on Friday, March 21 at Boston's FleetCenter. The winner of that game plays the winner of the Pitt vs. Wagner game in the second round. That round two game will be played in the FleetCenter on Sunday.

UPCOMING GAME: NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL 1ST Round
Indiana University
Friday, March 21, 2003
The FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts

TIP-OFF TIME: Approximately 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT

TV: CBS

RADIO: Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Tom Roberts (color)
105.5 FM in Tuscaloosa & 99.5 in Birmingham (complete list on www.rolltide.com)
WVUA (University of Alabama campus station), 90.7 FM

INTERNET: Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast is available on the internet on www.rolltide.com
UA basketball is also featured on www.markgottfried.com

Probable starters

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (17-11 OVERALL, 7-9 SEC):

F- 35, Erwin Dudley, 6-8, 260, SR, Uniontown, 14.7ppg/9.5 rpg
F- 03, Kennedy Winston, 6-7, 200, FR, Mobile, 11.3 ppg/4.6 rpg
C- 42, Kenny Walker, 6-9, 220, SR, Jacksonville, Florida, 9.3 ppg/5.6 rpg
G- 50, Antoine Pettway, 6-0, 170, JR, Alberta, 6.5 ppg/2.5 rpg
G- 25, Mo Williams, 6-1, 195, SO, Jackson, Mississippi, 16.0 ppg/4.0 rpg/4.0 apg

INDIANA UNIVERSITY (20-12 OVERALL, 8-8 BIG TEN)

F- 04, Bracey Wright, 6-3, 185, FR, The Colony, Texas, 16.4 ppg/4.9 rpg
F- 50, Jeff Newton, 6-9, 210, SR, Atlanta, Georgia, 15.0 ppg/8.5 rpg
C- 05, George Leach, 6-11, 240, JR, Charlotte, North Carolina, 6.3 ppg/5.7 rpg
G- 22, Marshall Strickland, 6-2, 185, FR, Winfield, Maryland, 6.4 ppg/2.5 rpg
G- 03, Tom Cloverdale, 6-2, 200, SR, Noblesville, Indiana, 11.8 ppg/3.6 rpg/4.3 apg

Head coaches

Alabama head coach MARK GOTTFRIED: 167-85 (.663%) in 8th season overall, 99-60 (.623%) in 5th season at Alabama; 2002 SEC Coaches & AP SEC "Coach of the Year"; four NCAA tournament appearances, two at Alabama (2002, 2nd round; 2003), 2 (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances (1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); One SEC Championship (2002) at Alabama; three conference championships at Murray State; Four 20-win seasons (out of 7) as a head coach; Assistant for UCLA's 1995 NCAA Champions team; three NCAA Sweet 16 appearances as a UA player 1985-86-87; Academic All-SEC as a player at Alabama...Coached Bama to its 1st No. 1 ranking...Born January 20, 1964 in Crestline, Ohio.

Indiana head coach MIKE DAVIS: 66-37 (.641%) in 3rd season overall and at Indiana University...2002 NCAA Final Four..2002 Big 10 Champions...Played at Alabama four seasons, 1980-81-82-83...Born September 15, 1960 in Fayette, Alabama.

Key game notes

  • A media match-up heaven sent as both head coaches in this game played at Alabama, Mark Gottfried for 3-straight NCAA Sweet 16 teams in 1985-86-87 and Indiana University's Mike Davis on Alabama's 1982 Sweet 16 team and 1983 NCAA tournament team
  • IU's staff includes assistant John Treloar, a former Tide graduate assistant and academic counselor from 1980-82 (he has a Master's Degree from Alabama)
  • IU's Director of Basketball Operations Tim Garl was a student trainer at Alabama from 1975-79, working with Coach Paul Bryant and the UA football team
  • Alabama is making its 16 NCAA tournament appearance (1975-76-82-83-84-85-86-87-89-90-91-92-94-95, 2002)
  • It's the third ever meeting between these schools in a series Indiana leads 2-0.
  • Indiana beat Alabama in the 2nd round of the 1976 NCAA tournament in 1976 (and went on to win the national title) and in the Indiana Classic in 1978.

It's Alabama's 16th NCAA Post-season Appearance

Alabama is making its 16th NCAA post-season appearance. The Tide advanced to the tournament in 1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 2002.

The Tide has an overall NCAA tournament record of 16-15.

Alabama has advanced in the tournament as far as the Sweet 16. That was its final resting place seven times, in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991.

Most on Tide Team Have Been To Dance

Ten of Alabama's 14 players knew before March 16 what it felt like to be selected to play in the NCAA tournament. They were all on Alabama's 2002 NCAA tournament team, which was the two seed in the South and played at Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C.

Alabama defeated Florida Atlantic 86-78 in first round play on March 14 but fell in the second round to Stan Heath's (now at Arkansas) Kent State 71-58 on March 17.

Among this year's players who played in those games were seniors Erwin Dudley, Kenny Walker and Terrance Meade who were all starters in those games as was Mo Williams. Three others came off the bench and played in both games, including juniors Demetrius Smith and Antoine Pettway and sophomore Earnest Shelton. Lucky Williams, then a redshirt, was on the team last year as were junior Reggie Rambo and sophomore Jason Reese (a redshirt then).

Men making their first NCAA tournament voyage include JUCO transfer Emmett Thomas, a junior, and freshmen Kennedy Winston, Evan Brock, and Chuck Davis.

Ten Seed is a First for Alabama

Alabama is seeded 10th in the Midwest, the highest (or lowest depending on vantage point you take) it has ever been. Previously, Alabama had never been seeded beyond ninth. It was a nine seed in 1984 and 1994. Alabama has never been a one seed but it has been the two seed twice, in 1987 (Mark Gottfried's senior year) and 2002.

Following is Alabama's NCAA Seeding History:

1975 West Regional
1976 Mideast Regional
1982 4th Seed, East Regional
1983 6th Seed, Midwest Regional
1984 9th Seed, Midwest Regional
1985 7th Seed, West Regional
1986 5th Seed, Southeast Regional
1987 2nd Seed, Southeast Regional
1989 6th Seed, Southeast Regional
1990 7th Seed, West Regional
1991 4th Seed, Southeast Regional
1992 5th Seed, Southeast Regional
1994 9th Seed, Southeast Regional
1995 5th Seed, East Regional
2002 2nd Seed, South Regional
2003 10th Seed, Midwest Regional

Tide & Hoosiers a Match Made in Media Heaven

Friday night's NCAA tournament first round game between Alabama and Indiana is a match made in media heaven. Both head coaches are former Crimson Tide basketball stars.

Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried played on three Wimp Sanderson-coached Alabama teams after transferring from Oral Roberts after his freshman season there. An immediate hit, Gottfried was a starting guard all three of those seasons at Alabama, and all three years he was there Alabama advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 (1985, 1986 and 1987).

Indiana head coach Mike Davis is from Fayette, Alabama which is about 45 minutes from Tuscaloosa, home of the Tide and Davis' hometown on two separate occasions in his life. The first was as a four-year player for the Tide from 1980-81-82-83.

It was Davis and crew, in fact, who started Alabama on an NCAA tournament roll. Alabama made the NCAA tournament in 1982, his junior year, the first of six consecutive NCAA appearances. Davis, who wore jersey number 44, and Alabama made the NCAA Sweet 16 his junior and senior seasons, in 1982 and 1983.

Gottfried and Davis never played together at Alabama but they've know each other since their playing days. Davis would come back to Tuscaloosa in the summers to train and work out while he was playing pro ball, and he and Gottfried played many a pickup game then. Davis and current Tide assistant coach Sammy Jackson coached at camps together and once shared a car ride together from Birmingham to a camp in Chicago.

Davis was also a coach at Alabama for two seasons working under David Hobbs during the 1997 and 1996 seasons.

Three Former Tide Assistants Coach NCAA Teams

Three men who are now head coaches at teams that made the 2003 NCAA tournament field were once assistants at Alabama. Bob Marlin of Sam Houston State was an assistant on Dave Hobbs UA staff for three seasons, from 1996-98. And Don Maestri, head coach at Troy State was an assistant on Wimp Sanderson's staffs in 1981 and 1982.

Both Head Coaches 1,000 Points Scorers At UA

Both head coaches in Friday's Alabama versus Indiana game rank among the 36 men who have scored 1,000 or more career points at the University of Alabama. Mark Gottfried scored 1,056 points during his three seasons at Alabama, ranking him No. 35 all-time. Indiana head coach Mike Davis ranks 27th on the list after scoring 1,211 points during his four seasons.

That means that four men involved in this match-up are on that list. Joining the coaches are seniors Erwin Dudley and Terrance Meade. Dudley ranks eighth all-time in scoring at Alabama with 1,757 career points and Meade ranks 33rd all-time with 1,103 career points.

UA & IU Have Met In NCAA Tourney Play Before

Friday night's game between Alabama and Indiana marks only the third time ever these two schools have played one another in men's basketball. And it was 25 years ago when last they met. None of Alabama's players were born in 1978 when Alabama and Indiana last met. The game was played in the Indiana Classic in Bloomington, Indiana. Alabama opened the tournament with a 61-60 win against Princeton but fell 66-57 to host Indiana in the championship game.

Alabama and Indiana met in NCAA tournament play on March 18, 1976 (almost exactly 27 years to the date of this year's meeting) at the Assembly Center (now called Pete Maravich Assembly Center) in Baton Rouge, La., in the 1976 NCAA Mideast Regional semifinals (Sweet 16). Indiana won the game 79-64 against an Alabama team that included the school's all-time scoring leader Reggie King and All-Americans Leon Douglas and T.R. Dunn. Scott May led Indiana's win with 25 points and 16 rebounds.

Indiana went on to win the national championship that year. In fact, twice in its previous 15 NCAA post-season appearances, Alabama has been eliminated by a team that went on to the win the national championship. Indiana eliminated Alabama in the 2nd round in 1976. And in Alabama's next trip to the dance, this not until 1982 (Mike Davis was on that UA team) when North Carolina beat Alabama 74-69 in 1982 in the East Regional Semifinals in Raleigh, North Carolina. (North Carolina's team included a guy named Michael Jordan (he had 11 points), Jordan's college roommate Buzz Peterson (now head coach at Tennessee) and Matt Doherty, among others. Alabama's hand included future NBA players Ennis Whatley and Eddie Phillips as well as Indiana head coach Mike Davis.

Pettway Will Have A Cheering Section

Antoine Pettway will be playing more than 1,200 miles away from home when he and the Crimson Tide travel to Boston for the NCAA's first and second round games at the FleetCenter. But he won't be lonely for family. Pettway says he has about a dozen relatives who live in the area who'll turn out en-force to cheer him on.

Fans Will View Two Future Stars

Both Alabama and Indiana feature two marquee freshmen players, Alabama with 6-7, 200 pound forward Kennedy Winston and Indiana with 6-3, 185 pound guard Bracey Wright. Both are starters. Winston, who was ineligible to play in Alabama's first 11 games, has now started in eight games and is averaging 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. His numbers have included 20 against Ole Miss, 22 against South Carolina and a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds against Auburn in Tuscaloosa.

The SEC's coaches voted him Freshman All-SEC.

Bracey has started in 27 of 28 games and is averaging 16.4 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Bracey was named to the Big 10 All-Freshman team and has scored 20 or more points ten times this season.

Tide Team Jubilant on Selection Sunday

If there is one word the would not describe this Tide team, it would be "quiet." This is one personable group of young men. But as the players gathered in the team room, a large expanse with oversized crimson leather couches and chairs and a big screen TV to watch the NCAA Selection Show on CBS, there was an unmistakable hush. Eyes darted around the room as they heard other teams' names called and watched the first two brackets, the South and East Regional, spots fill. But the mood turned into pure joy and jubilation as they heard the word "Crimson" and saw "Alabama" pop up on the bracket for the Midwest Regional.

Antoine Pettway leapt from his spot on the end of one couch across the room to another couch where his teammates including senior Terrance Meade were sitting. Back across the room came a pileup---picture a baseball team charging the mound after a big win-where among the group of a dozen who flung their bodies into the heap was Alabama's head coach, Mark Gottfried. Literally, there were tears of joy as all hugged one another-bear hugging the senior players Erwin Dudley, Terrance Meade and Kenny Walker.

No one in the room had any idea of any other name called on that side of the bracket. Within minutes, Mark Gottfried pointed to Antoine Pettway who called the group together. The television had already been turned off, and the players immediately dropped to their knees and Pettway led them in a prayer of thanks where he thanked God "for giving us a second chance" and for giving them one another.

Dudley and Shaq May Soon Share SEC Stat

Erwin Dudley has led the SEC in rebounding all season, both in the "all games" and "SEC vs. SEC" stats. Already he is the league's rebounding champion in SEC vs. SEC games (9.4). If he continues his stand atop the rebounding stats by season's end, he will make history as only the fourth player in league history to lead the SEC in rebounding for three straight years.

His company in that group? How about two of these names: Charles Barkley (the former Auburn player won the titles in 1982, 1983 and 1984) and Shaquille O'Neal. He won it while playing at LSU in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Dudley is currently averaging 9.5 rebounds a game. Next best is LSU's Jaime Lloreda at 8.8 a game.


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