Top seeded Alabama advance to the Sweet 16 with a dominant win over Maryland


Brandon Miller heated up, as did Alabama, which avoided the fate of two other top NCAA tournament seeds and brushed aside Maryland behind a dominant second half 73-51 on Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide (31-5) advanced to their second sweet 16 and ninth overall in the last three tournaments. Alabama meets fifth-placed San Diego State in the South Region semifinals in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday.

Before the game even settled, two top seeds, Purdue and defending champion Kansas, were down and Houston, the No. 1 seed, was 10 points behind Tide rivals Auburn at halftime earlier at Legacy Arena , before he pulled away.

Alabama and Miller got off to a slow start, but the All-America freshman and top NBA prospect finished with 19 points after going scoreless in the first-round game. Miller is suffering from a groin injury and missed his first nine shots of the tournament.

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Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with teammates in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at BJCC on March 18, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jahvon Quinerly scored 22 points on the one-year anniversary of his left knee injury in a second-round loss to Notre Dame that hampered him earlier this season. Quinerly made 4 of 6 3-pointers.

Charles Bediako had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Alabama’s starters took a few minutes to the bench to sing “Sweet 16” in the friendly crowd.

Julian Reese had 14 points for Maryland (22-13) before fouling. Jahmir Young scored 12.

Alabama, the top overall winner, faced little drama unlike the other No. 1s.

Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at BJCC on March 18, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at BJCC on March 18, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON’S EXPLICIT SHORTCUT SETS THE INTERNET INSANE AFTER MARCH MADNESS

Fairleigh Dickinson, No. 16, toppled top seeded Purdue 63-58 in just the second such upset on Friday. Then No. 8 Arkansas beat the Jayhawks 72-71 earlier on Saturday. Houston eventually withdrew from Auburn as the tide awaited its turn.

The first half was more to Maryland’s liking, save for the 28-23 deficit as one team gave up just 63 points per game.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: 2002 national champion Terps failed to make the 15th trip to the Sweet 16 in coach Kevin Willard’s first season. They also lost in the second round to Alabama two years ago under former coach Mark Turgeon. Maryland’s defense was so spot on that they held the lead for much of the first half despite a stretch of nine straight misses.

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) is guarded by Maryland guard Jahmir Young (1) during the first half of a second round college basketball game at the NCAA tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) is guarded by Maryland guard Jahmir Young (1) during the first half of a second round college basketball game at the NCAA tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, March 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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Alabama: Its depth has been shown so far. The Tide controlled the game, although starters Mark Sears and Noah Clowney or Nick Pringle, the star of the opening game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, didn’t score many goals.

NEXT

Alabama meets a San Diego State team making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2004, which was also the year of the Tide’s only Elite Eight heat. The Crimson Tide have never made the Final Four.



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