Bama/FAU basketball notes

The University of Alabama men's basketball team is the two seed in the South as play begins this week in the 2002 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships. The Crimson Tide, 26-7 overall and the 2002 Southeastern Conference regular season champions, travel to Greenville, S.C., and the Bi-Lo (14,322) Center for the first and second rounds of the tournament.

NEXT GAME:

  • NCAA Championships, South Region 1st Round
  • FLORIDA ATLANTIC
  • Game is 30 minutes following conclusion of 12:20 ET game between Oklahoma St/Kent
  • Thursday, March 14, 2002
  • Bi-Lo Center (14,322)
  • Greenville, South Carolina

TICKETS:

WWW.bilocenter.com $152 (includes both sessions Thursday and one session Saturday)

UA WEEKLY TV:

"Crimson Tide This Week" with host David Crane: Check local listings, airs regionally, "The Mark Gottfried Show", Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. on CSS, host Tom Roberts

RADIO:

Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold and Tom Roberts; engineer Tom Stipe, WVUA 90.7 FM (UofA Campus Station/home games only)

INTERNET:

Live audio of CTSN's radio broadcast is available on the internet on www.rolltide.com. Tide basketball information is available there as well as on www.markgottfried.com and www.crimsontradition.com (subscription site).

2 -seed South & No. 8 AP/No. 8 ESPN/USA Today ALABAMA (26-7 OVERALL,* 12-4 SEC):

  • F- 35 Erwin Dudley 6-8, 260, JR, Uniontown 15.3 ppg/8.9 rpg
  • C- 42 Kenny Walker 6-9, 230, JR, Jacksonville, Florida 9.3 ppg/5.6 rpg
  • G- 21 Rod Grizzard 6-8, 200, JR, Birmingham 14.3 ppg/6.0 rpg
  • G- 14 Terrance Meade 6-2, 190, JR, Scottsboro 8.5 ppg/3.1 rpg
  • G- 25 Mo Williams 6-1, 185, FR, Jackson, Mississippi 9.6 ppg/3.7 rpg/4.5 assists per game
  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (Alabama, 1987)
  • * SEC Regular Season Champions & SEC Western Division Champions

15-seed South FLORIDA ATLANTIC ( OVERALL 19-11, 13-7 Atlantic Sun * Tournament Champs)

  • F- 01 Raheim Brown 6-10, 210, SR, Orlando, Florida 16.4 ppg/8.4 rpg
  • F- 23 Andre Garner 6-4, 200, JR, Decatur, Alabama 9.2 ppg/3.2 rpg
  • C- 04 Daryl Dingle 6-7, 225, SR, Miami, Florida 8.5 ppg/5.1 rpg
  • G- 21 John Smart 5-10, 160, SR, Wichita, Kansas 1.6 ppg/1.0 rpg
  • G- 25 Jeff Cowans 6-2, 170, SO, Orlando, Florida 11.7 ppg/4.2 rpg
  • HeadCoach: Sidney Green (UNLV, 1983)

ALABAMA HEAD COACH MARK GOTTFRIED:

Mark Gottfried; 149-73 (.671%) in 7 (6 complete) seasons overall, 81-48 (.628%) in 4th season at Alabama; 2002 SEC Coaches & AP SEC Coach of the Year; 2 NCAA appearances (1997 & 1998) at Murray State; 3 NIT appearances ( 1996 at MSU, 1999 & 2001 at UA); One SEC Championship (2002) at Alabama; 3 conference championships at Murray State (giving him 4 conference titles in 7 seasons as a head coach); Four 20-win seasons (out of 7) as a head coach; Assistant for UCLA's 1995 NCAA Champions team; 3 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances as a UA player 1985-86-87; Academic All-SEC as a player at Alabama...Born January 20, 1964 in Crestline, Ohio.

FAU HEAD COACH SIDNEY GREEN:

77-123 (.385%) in 7 seasons overall, 28-63 (.748%) in 3rd season at Florida Atlantic; New York City native who was All-American at UNLV; 1st round NBA pick in 1983 by Chicago Bulls (also played for Knicks, Orlando, San Antonio, and Charlotte).

KEY GAME NOTES:

  • Alabama is the No. 2 seed in the South, tying for the school's highest ever NCAA seed; Alabama has been seeded 2nd in the NCAA tournament one other time, in 1987 in the Southeast Region (it made it to the Sweet 16)
  • This will be the 1st meeting ever in men's basketball between Alabama & Florida Atlantic. Alabama has played the other two teams in the bracket, Kent State once and Oklahoma State five times, including the 1995 NCAA tourney
  • Mark Gottfried is in his 7th overall year as a head coach (4th at Alabama); this is his 3rd NCAA appearance as his Murray State Racers advanced in 1997 & 1998. This is his first trip as Alabama's head coach
  • Alabama is making its 15th NCAA tournament appearance dating to 1975 (15-14 record, 7 Sweet 16's)

Tide Is No. 2 Seed in NCAA South Region

Alabama will play 15 seed Florida Atlantic, 19-11 overall and the Atlantic Sun Conference's tournament champions, in the first round on Thursday, March 14. That game will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of a 12:20 p.m. ET game between seven seed Oklahoma State, 23-8, and 10 seed Kent State, 27-5.

The two winners from that first round game will play at either 1:10 p.m. or 3:36 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 16 in the second round. The winner of the second round game advances to the South Regional in Lexington, Ky. Those Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will be played on March 21 & 23.

The site in Greenville will host two sessions on Thursday. Alabama plays in the afternoon session. The night session begins at 7:40 p.m. ET with 9 seed Charlotte playing 5 seed Indiana followed 25 minutes after that game's conclusion with top seeded Duke playing 16 seeded Winthrop.

Tickets Available Online

Tickets to the 1st and 2nd round games in Greenville, S.C., can be purchased online through the Bi-Lo Center box office at www.bilocenter.com. Tickets are $152 each are for two sessions Thursday and one session Saturday, a total of six games. Payment may be made by check, money order, MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. Ticket applications are available at the BI-LO Center box office or online. Ticket applications can also be faxed by calling 864-250-4792. The BI-LO Center box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET.

2nd Time as A Two Seed for Tide

The selection of Alabama as the No. 2 seed in the South marks the second time in school history that Alabama has been a two seed. The first-and last-time that happened was in 1987 when Alabama was the two seed in the Southeast Regional. Mark Gottfried was a senior starting guard on that Alabama basketball team which advanced to the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Ky., by defeating, in Birmingham, North Carolina A&T and New Orleans then losing in Louisville to a Billy Donovan-led and Rick Pitino-coached Providence team 103-82.

Tide Making 15 NCAA Postseason Appearance

Alabama is making its 15th NCAA postseason appearance. The Tide has made it as far into the tournament as the Sweet 16, its final resting spot seven times. It has a 15-14 overall NCAA tournament record.

Alabama advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991. It advanced to the NCAA tournament in 1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995.

Bama One of Two That Went from Left Out to 2-Seed

Alabama and UConn are the highest seeded teams that went from being left out of the NCAA tournament in 2001 to being two seeds in their regions in 2002. Alabama is the two seed in the South, Ucon the two seed in the East.

In the past six years, seven teams, including Alabama and UConn in 2002, have gone from not making the tournament the previous year to being a one or two seed the next. In 2000, it was Iowa, a two seed. In 1999 Auburn was a one seed after not making the field in 1998. UConn was a two seed in 1998 after not making the tournament in 1997. And in 1997 Minnesota was a one seed and South Carolina a two seed despite not making the field in 1996.

How the South Will Be Won

Sixteen teams go into play this week with dreams of winning the South regional and advancing to the NCAA Final Four which is April 1, 2002 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The seeds are, in order: Duke (1), Alabama (2), Pittsburgh (3), Southern Cal (4), Indiana (5), California (6), Oklahoma State (7), Notre Dame (8), Charlotte (9), Kent State (10), Pennsylvania (11), Utah (12), UNC Wilmington (13), Central Connecticut State (14), Florida Atlantic (15), and Winthrop 16.

Cal, Penn, Central Connecticut State and Pitt are all in Alabama's half of the bracket as one of those teams will advance to Lexington to play the winner from among Alabama, Florida Atlantic, Oklahoma State and Kent State.

Ten Tide 2002 Opponents Made Tournament

Ten teams that the Crimson Tide played this season advanced to the NCAA tournament. The list includes:
    Team        SEED       UA Score

Notre Dame     South 8     W 79-76
Utah           South 12    W 76-61
UCLA           West 8      L 79-57
Ole Miss       West 9      W 79-59
                           L 84-56
Missouri       West 12     L 75-68
Kentucky       East 4      W 64-61
Georgia        East 3      W 77-72
Florida        Midwest 5   W 65-64
McNeese State  Midwest 14  W 90-61
Miss. State    Midwest 3   W 85-73
                           L 76-62
                           L 61-58 (SEC Finals)

Tide Coaching Trio Will Now See Both Sides

Three Alabama coaches, Mark Gottfried (1984-87), T.R. Dunn (1974-77), and Philip Pearson (1989-93) were all players on Alabama teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament. Now they are all experiencing their first trips WITH ALABAMA to the NCAA tournament as Bama coaches.

Gottfried advanced to three straight NCAA Sweet 16's as a player in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Pearson was on the 1990 and 1991 Sweet 16 teams. And Dunn and his Tide teammates made it to the Sweet 16 in 1976.

Gottfried and Pearson have been to the NCAA tournament as coaches, but they were at Murray State when the Racers made the field in 1997 and 1998 as the Ohio Valley Conference champions. Tide Director of Basketball Operations Darron Boatright was also part of that Murray State coaching staff. Gottfried also made seven straight NCAA tournament trips as an assistant coach at UCLA, winning the national championship in 1995.

Tide Assistant Will See His Old Team In Greenville

In addition to celebrating Alabama's two seed in the South regional in Greenville, Alabama assistant coach Orlando Early was all smiles during the CBS tournament selection show when he saw the nine seed's name flash on the screen for that regional. UNC-Charlotte is the nine seed. Early was an assistant coach for the 49ers from 1998-2001 before joining Mark Gottfried's staff this past summer. He'll see his old players and former fellow assistants in Greenville where Charlotte will play Notre Dame in the 7:40 p.m. ET game.

Another Tide Assistant Will See an Old Foe

Thursday night's matchup between Alabama and Florida Atlantic will be a reunion for Alabama assistant coach T.R. Dunn, a 14 year NBA veteran, and FAU head coach Sidney Green. The pair used to play against one another in the NBA, Dunn at Portland, Denver and Phoenix. Green's NBA playing career included a stint at Charlotte where Dunn was an assistant coach from 1991-97.

Possible Opponent Has Been Tide NCAA Opponent

Included in Alabama's bracket as a possible second round opponent is Oklahoma State. The last time Alabama played in the NCAA tournament was in 1995. It was Oklahoma State that knocked Alabama out of the tournament. Playing as the five seed in the East Regional, Alabama's first and second round games were in Baltimore, Md. The Tide defeated Penn 91-85 in overtime and advanced to play Oklahoma State. OSU sent the Tide home with a 66-52 second round win.

Bama and Duke Share Common Stat

Seeding in the NCAA tournament is based on success and strength of schedule, and it's there that Alabama and Duke, the No. 1 seed in the South, shared a common stat going into Selection Sunday. Alabama and Duke both had 17 wins against the top 100 teams in the CollegeRPI, a stat that leads the country.

Alabama & Florida Atlanta Recently Shared San Juan

Alabama and Florida Atlantic, the Tide's first round opponent, have never played one another in men's basketball, but they once shared a tournament trip to San Juan. In December of 1999, both teams were among the field at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. (Alabama played Northern Iowa, Washington & Cincinnati there, advancing to the tournament's championship game where it fell in overtime to Cincinnati 77-74.

Two Head Coaches Credited With Turnarounds

Both head coaches in Thursday afternoon's game can be credited with turning their basketball programs around. When Mark Gottfried came to Alabama in March of 1998, he inherited a team that had had Alabama's first losing record in a decade. He got to recruit his own players for the 2000 team and brought in what is now one of the nation's strongest junior classes-Erwin Dudley, Rod Grizzard, Kenny Walker and Terrance Meade-and took a chance by starting all four of them as freshmen. After going 17-15 in his first year in 1999, Alabama's inexperienced team went 13-16. But the move paid off last season by the time they were juniors and Gottfried was able to add more talent to the mix. Alabama finished 2000 with a sophomore-led class that not only jumped into the Top 25 but finished the season with 25 wins. And this season Gottfried has made the rare jump as a team that didn't make the NCAA tournament in 2001 to the NCAA tournament's two seed.

Sidney Green, head coach at Florida Atlanta, also had to take some lumps with the team he inherited. His first season at Florida Atlantic the Owls went 2-28. That was just three short seasons ago in 2000. In 2002, the record was 7-24. In 2002 FAU became the fisrt team to make it into the NCAA tournament when it won the Atlantic Sun Conference's championship. His team is on a five game win streak coming into the Alabama game. It's record is 19-11 but three of those losses were in overtime games-two of those double overtime games.

Green has coached FAU to its first ever NCAA tournament trip. Gottfried has coached Alabama to its first trip in seven years (last was 1995).

Alabama Native a Starter At Florida Atlantic

Among the starting lineup at forward for the Florida Atlantic Owls is an Alabama native, Decatur's Andre Garner. Garner is a junior who prepped at Austin High School. He transferred to FAU from Cosumnes River College (California) where he averaged 20.7 points and 7.9 rebounds and set the school's scoring record. Garner has started in 29 of FAU's 30 games this season and is averaging 9.2 points and 3.2 rebounds.

26 Wins Ties for 2nd Best Total At Alabama

The Tide is 26-7. The 26 wins ties for 2nd all-time in single season wins. The most single season records any Alabama team has ever had is 28. Mark Gottfried was a senior starting guard on that Alabama team.

Gottfried Makes Runway Ballot

His coaching peers in the league voted him Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and the media named him Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year and United States Basketball Writers Association District Coach of the Year.

And Mark Gottfried's latest coaching feat? CollegeInsider.com has selected the 38 year old as the No. 4 seed from the East Region---for the 2002 Runway to the Fashionable Four. As the four seed in the East, Gottried and his tailor, Mike Adams of Decatur, face No. 13 fashion seed Homer Drew, head coach at Valparaiso. ..Could this be the one event where a tie makes a winner?

T.R. Dunn Is also In Style

On March 8 the website www.collegeinsider.com announced its list of the 40 assistant coaches it has competing for a fictional "Best-Dressed Under Study" title. Tide assistant coach T.R. Dunn, a 14-year NBA veteran, is on the list. The website has gone as far as to set up "Catwalk Contests" and bracketed the field. Dunn was placed in the South bracket against Memphis assistant Steve Roccaforte.

Terrance Meade Needs A Dozen to Reach 1,000 Points

Junior guard Terrance Meade is closing in on an Alabama career milestone, his 1,000th Tide career point. Going into the NCAA tournament the Scottsboro native has 988 career points. He needs 12 more points to reach 1,000. If he does reach that point, he'll join two of his current teammates, Rod Grizzard and Erwin Dudley, as 1,000 points scorers. Thirty five players in the school's history have reached that scoring milestone.

BamaMag Top Stories