Grant, Bama Back To Work For Miami

No rest for the .... Well, not much rest for the Alabama basketball staff. After a late game Monday as the Crimson Tide won its second round NIT game, the Crimson Tide staff started work on its quarterfinals matchup. The result: not much sleep for the head coach.



Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said that he left Coleman Coliseum at midnight following the Crimson Tide's 74-67 win over New Mexico Monday night. He and the staff already knew that Bama would be hosting Miami in an NIT quarterfinals game Wednesday night. That game will tip off at 8 p.m. CDT and be televised by ESPN2.

Tuesday morning, Grant was back on the job before 9 a.m., and his Crimson Tide team, the top seed in its bracket, was on the practice floor Tuesday afternoon.

Bama does have the advantage of being home while Miami, the number two seed in the bracket and an 81-72 winner over Missouri State Monday night, is traveling to Tuscaloosa. Grant said he didn't think that was a major issue, though he said he is happy to be playing in front of Bama fans.

He said the travel "doesn't affect you much. We've both had just one day of preparation time. We'll be ourselves."

What Grant saw of Miami is "a good team that played extremely well last night. They had a good win at home against Missouri State and really shot the ball well. They're a very explosive offensive team with four guys on the floor at any time that can really hurt you offensively."

Alabama is a school record 18-0 in Coleman Coliseum this season. The Tide is 23-11 overall. Miami, which was 6-10 in ACC games, is 21-14 overall.

Miami will have to play on what has become one of the toughest home courts in the nation as Alabama's home opponents have averaged 52.4 points this season, 0.77 points per possession and are shooting 34.2 percent to at Coleman Coliseum.

The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the semifinals in New York on March 29 against either Colorado or Kent State. Although Grant is a "play them one at a time" guy, he has talked about the opportunity his team has to extend its season and finish in the mecca of basketball, New York's Madison Square Garden. "In order to play for a championship, we have to take care of today," he said. "I think our guys have done a good job of that and this will be the next challenge for us. We're excited, but not distracted."

First team All-SEC selection JaMychal Green and second team All-SEC selection Tony Mitchell lead the Tide in scoring averaging 15.5 points per game. Mitchell led the Tide Monday night with a game-high 23 points. SEC All-Freshman selection Trevor Releford also continued his hot streak with 20 points to match a career high and six assists against New Mexico.

Tickets for Monday's game are $10 for courtside tickets, $8 for adult general admission, $4 for youth general admission and $4 for current UA students with a valid ID. Those wishing to purchase tickets can do so online at www.RollTide.com, via phone by calling 1-877-TIDE-TIX or in person at the Coleman Coliseum ticket window starting a 9 a.m. Fans are encouraged to purchase online and use the ‘print at home' option for the most convenient delivery of tickets and to avoid having to wait in any potential lines at will call.

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