This Alabama Team Isn’t Afraid Of The Outside Noise, They Embraced It En-Route To SEC Tournament Title

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NASHVILLE- The expectations were overwhelming, with off-court drama that spilled into every press conference at the SEC tourney. But Alabama held its own, from the time they landed in Nashville, until the nets were cut down. For everyone rooting against Brandon Miller and the Tide, you’ll now have to wait another week, after they defeated Texas A&M 82-63.

There were plenty of fans on Friday rooting against Alabama and Nate Oats, but they handled business. The same can be said for the past two days, where we witnessed the Tide and Brandon Miller put on a show, en-route to SEC Tournament championship. This whole trip to Nashville was a preview of what’s to come off the court during the NCAA Tournament, especially from a public relations standpoint.

The questions aren’t going away, but it honestly feels like this Alabama team has embraced every minute of having their teammate’s back. Brandon Miller finished the game with 23 points and 12 rebounds, capping off a fantastic run in Nashville.

But even with the tournament championship, the questions will still be asked this week in Birmingham and Nate Oats was asked what his message to the team will be.

“Obviously we never lose sight of the tragedy that’s kind of marked our season,” Nate Oats mentioned. It’s always there. Today, with the team, we’re going to celebrate this win without losing sight of that. Moving forward, we’re going to try to keep the team focused on the task at hand, just like we have, without ever losing sight of the fact it’s an unbelievably sad situation.”

Texas A&M and Alabama take the court at the SEC Tournament
Texas A&M and Alabama take the court at the SEC Tournament

What we saw out of Alabama on Sunday is a team thriving under pressure, as laughs and hugs were shared between teammates during postgame festivities. For Alabama, they haven’t changed a thing, continuing to battle every night, with a good chunk of college basketball hoping they fail.

Plenty of folks, including myself, had questions for Nate Oats. He’s been coached up well over the last week on what to say about Darius Miles and Brandon Miller, which included a tense press conference on Friday. For the first time, there were folks outside of Tuscaloosa that wanted their questions answered, though we all knew what was going to be given. \

But even though some fans might feel as if this is being dragged out, I can promise you it will only continue next week during the NCAA Tournament. But what we witnessed out of Alabama over the last three days is nothing different than what they’ve done since January. This is a team built around Brandon Miller, with a shooter like Jahvon Quinerly, who will make you pay from behind the arc.

Brandon Miller and Alabama head coach Nate Oats
Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide talks with head coach Nate Oats. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Alabama Is The Bad Guy, To Everyone Outside The State

What we’ve learned over the past few months is that Alabama basketball has a massive target on its back, and they don’t care. To the folks outside of the Bama fan-base, they had their opinions while watching Brandon Miller play today. But for the thousands of fans wearing crimson and white, they’ve embraced the NWO style feeling.

Even though they’ll never say it, I bet this Alabama team enjoys all the hatred that’s coming its way. Certainly they wish the circumstances were different, maybe just coming off as a cocky team that likes to show off, not one that has a former player indicted for murder and its star player most likely being the leading witness.

Alabama's Nate Oats and Brandon Miller
Alabama’s Nate Oats and Brandon Miller during SEC Tournament

As we’ve learned over the past two months, this Alabama fan-base is all-in on the basketball team. Would they be this enthusiastic about the whole situation if Alabama was heading towards the NIT or having a bad year? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that thousands of fans traveled to Nashville in hopes of seeing this team cut down the nets.

This is just new for the basketball fans, who have embraced their star player, when others are questioning whether Brandon Miller should be on the court.

SEC Tournament Champions Will Stay Home To Open NCAA Tourney

One of the biggest trophies for this season will be opening the NCAA Tournament in Birmingham, as an overall one seed. This means a home-court atmosphere will be awaiting the Tide in just five days. One of the biggest questions will be who joins Alabama in the NCAA Tournament from the SEC, with Vanderbilt and Mississippi State hoping to hear their names called.

We could see Texas A&M potentially make a run, but Alabama was too much for them on Sunday. As for Vanderbilt, the question remains about whether they’ll get in. After what they did in the SEC Tournament, while also finishing the season winning 10 of 12, I could see them squeaking in. But, is it enough in the eyes of the committee?

But for the SEC champions, the crowd at Legacy Arena in Birmingham should be like playing in Coleman Coliseum next weekend.

As for what we witnessed in Nashville, this Alabama team isn’t afraid of a little noise, they embrace it.

Written by Trey Wallace

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.

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  1. The line that reads “This is a team built around Brandon Miller, with a shooter like Jahvon Quinerly, who will make you pay from behind the arc” is great. Shooter, pay and arc made me think of “Yellow Mama”

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