There’s not much Alabama doesn’t know about competing in the NCAA National Championship. The Crimson Tide, which won the Tuscaloosa NCAA Regional to advance to this year’s national championship meet in Fort Worth, Texas, has made it to the championship meet 34 consecutive years.
One of those things known is that it is better to be in the evening half of the semifinals on Friday if you want to make it to Saturday’s finals.
Head coach Dana Duckworth and her Crimson Tide squad finished fourth at last year’s nationals in the same arena. Alabama is the only team to have finished in the top four each of the last seven seasons.
Alabama went through its final practice in Fort Worth Thursday, and will compete in the evening event Friday in hopes of advancing to Saturday’s Super Six Team Finals in the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Only one other team has been to more consecutive NCAA Championships than Alabama, and the Crimson Tide will get a close up look at Utah – which is in its 35th – on Friday.
The six-time national champion Tide will face fellow past champions Utah, UCLA, and Oklahoma, as well as California and Nebraska in Friday’s second semifinal session of the NCAA Championships which will get underway at 7 p.m. CDT.
Defending NCAA champion Florida along with past champion Georgia, as well as Auburn, LSU, Stanford, and Minnesota all compete in the first semifinal session on Friday starting at 1 p.m.
The top-three teams from each semifinal will advance to the NCAA Super Six Team Final, which gets underway Saturday at 8 p.m.
The Tide will start its semifinal session on a bye before beginning competition on the uneven bars. From there, Alabama moves to the balance beam before going to its second bye. The Tide then goes to the floor exercise before finishing on the vault. It is the same rotation the Tide used on the way to winning the 2016 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championship two weeks ago.
Both semifinal sessions and the Super Six Team Finals will be broadcast on ESPNU.