He was named the Post-Gazette 2013 Male Athlete of the Year after setting Western Pennsylvania records for receptions and receiving yards in football and leading the basketball team to two WPIAL championships and two PIAA finals during his four-year career. On the season, Alabama is averaging 72.4 ppg on 45.8% shooting from the field.
Alabama probably played its way into the tournament by beating Texas A&M and Auburn in the SEC Tournament.
But it was during college football's national championship game that Wright found the ideal Villanova-type lesson when Alabama benched its quarterback at halftime and came back behind a freshman reserve to win the title against Georgia. "But we've just got to play ball. (Devin) finished in last place as a freshman, he finished in last place as a sophomore, and then to be able to play in the NCAA Tournament, in essence, at his home, I think that's really cool", Williams said.
"Just to make sure we come into this game ready and that's what we did". "When Collin's driving, it opens up shots for John, and when John is shooting, it opens up a lot of driving lanes for everyone (else), because no one wants to help off him, so it's basically 4-on-4 which (creates) even more space on the basketball court". But the squad went 6-2 against ranked foes and 9-9 against teams in this year's field.
"It definitely doesn't feel good, but, you know, the body of work that we've accomplished since we've been here, you can kind of hold your head high to that and kind of focus on that", he said.
Alabama's victims this season include Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Florida and Tennessee. "Defensively they are very strong and very talented". What did that stretch teach the 'Bama fanbase about this team and what should it teach Tech fans?
And that makes rebounding a concern for Tech.
They named roads, replaced a state statue in the U.S. Capitol and demanded every school display "In God We Trust". "You recruit them so that if they're in a situation that they need to solve a problem".
"Offensively, they're like us", Bibbs said. That allowed Sexton and Alabama to settle themselves.
Johnson agrees that height is a primary weapon for the Crimson Tide.
While Alabama shot 60.9% from the floor in the second half, including just 3-8 (37.5%) from 3, the Hokies couldn't get anything going, resulting in shooting 13-29 (44.8%) from the field and just 2-9 (22.2%) from behind the arc. The 11-point spread in the 11:10 a.m. CT Saturday game beats the previous high spread (nine at Arizona) the Crimson Tide faced all year.
But since Sexton returned a week later, Petty has eclipsed double digits in scoring just six times, including the last two games. The Hokies lost to Wisconsin in the opening round a year ago.
After a Virginia Tech turnover, Alabama backup Avery Johnson Jr. made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 66-64. We came here to advance.
Virginia will face UMBC on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.