Down Goes The Tide: San Diego State Sends Alabama Home With More Questions Than Answers, Fans Left Stunned

LOUISVILLE- For a team that hasn't had a lot to say over the past two months, Alabama was once again held speechless, losing to San Diego State in the Sweet-Sixteen on Friday night. Riding a high for the majority of the season, it all came crumbling down in Louisville, thanks to an upset minded group from the West Coast.

The path to the Final Four was ended with the Yum Center crowd on their feet chanting 'Let's Go Aztecs', not 'Lets Go Brandon', which has been the calling card for Alabama fans over the last two months, supporting Brandon Miller. It ended because the Aztecs challenged Alabama for 40 minutes, not giving into the hype that surrounded this Nate Oats No. 1 seeded team.

A lot can be said for how the final game of the season ended for Alabama, filled with controversy off the court. But on the court in Louisville, the Aztecs showed a different type of fight, even with almost the whole arena rooting against them.

There are certainly more questions about how the final game of the season played out, but when your leader only scores nine points, while having six turnovers, this is what happens. Miller was off of his game from start to finish. We always wondered what would really happen to Alabama when they had an off-night shooting.

Tonight provided the answer.

We should've seen a performance like this coming, looking back at the Texas A&M loss in early March. For a team that puts so much on one player, it was bound to happen before the Final Four. Now, Alabama fans are left speechless for the first time this season. This team fell short, like every other team in the SEC, only Alabama had a bigger target on its back.

Alabama Finally Challenged Defensively

Let's face it, the only team that was anywhere near San Diego State from a defensive standpoint in the SEC was Tennessee. This was an experienced San Diego State team, they didn't fold when Alabama when up nine points.

As for Alabama, its left with the feeling of loss, with so much on the table. The past two months have provided more drama than Buckingham Palace, with questions surrounding the tragic off-court incident. There was nowhere for this team to run, the questions were always going to follow them, which was unfortunate for most.

Not many folks outside the State of Alabama will have sympathy for the Tide this season, nor should they. This was a basketball team that had skirted the public relations line for months now, and it finally caught up with them on the biggest stage.

But when you look across the court at San Diego State, a team that didn't feel as if they are underdogs, looked Alabama in the face and punched back. For forty minutes, Nate Oats stood in the coaches' box, yelling for his players to give more. Turns out, the Aztecs had taken everything out of this Bama team, along with their pride.

"We talked about it in the huddle. I was telling the guys that it's March. We're going to go on our run, and that was -- I truly believe that, and I just took the opportunities they gave me," San Diego State's Darrion Trammell said postgame. "I feel like the big was too low in the drop. I took my shot, and, I mean, I just made a play on defense."

For the Aztecs, they will continue on, playing in the Elite Eight on Sunday. As for Alabama, some around the program will wonder if it was all worth it.

Alabama was good enough, but San Diego State was better tonight. That's one answer that cannot be refuted.

Written by
Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series. Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football "Credit Card Scandal" along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.