For the second time in three seasons, Alabama will face Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide will take on the No. 8 seed Terrapins on Saturday at 8:40 p.m. CT inside Legacy Arena. Alabama advanced to the matchup with a 96-75 win over No. 16 seed Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, while Maryland ground out a 67-65 win over No. 9 seed West Virginia.
Two years ago, No. 2 seed Alabama beat No. 10 seed Maryland 96-77 in the Round of 32. The Crimson Tide lost to No. 11 seed UCLA in the Sweet 16.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s game.
How to watch
Who: No. 1 seed Alabama (30-5) vs. No. 8 seed Maryland (22-12)
When: 8:40 p.m. CT, Saturday, March 18
Where: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Watch: TBS (play-by-play: Jim Nantz; analyst: Bill Raftery; analyst Grant Hill; sideline: Tracy Wolfson)
Listen: Crimson Tide Sports Network (play-by-play: Chris Stewart; analyst: Bryan Passink; engineer Tom Stipe)
Alabama’s projected starters
Jahvon Quinerly: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, senior
Stats: 8.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.7 apg, 39.3% FG, 34.2% 3-pt
Mark Sears: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, junior
Stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 41.1% FG, 35.8% 3-pt
Brandon Miller: 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, freshman
Stats: 19.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 44.6% FG, 39.6% 3-pt
Noah Clowney: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, freshman
Stats: 10.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 50.0% FG, 29.8% 3-pt
Charles Bediako: 7-foot, 225 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 6.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg, 65.1% FG
Maryland projected starting lineup
Jahmir Young: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, senior
Stats: 15.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 41.6% FG, 31.3% 3-pt
Don Carey: 6-foot-5, 187 pounds, senior
Stats: 7.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 37.9% FG, 33.9% 3-pt
Hakim Hart: 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, senior
Stats: 11.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 48.4% FG, 33.9% 3-pt
Donta Scott: 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, senior
Stats: 11.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 39.8% FG, 31.0% 3-pt
Julian Reese: 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, sophomore
Stats: 11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 47.0% FG, 63.3%
Brandon Miller ‘taking it slow’ with groin injury
A day after being held scoreless for the first time in his career, Brandon Miller addressed the groin injury that has been bothering him since last weekend’s SEC Tournament in Nashville. The five-star forward failed to score during Alabama’s opening victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday, recording five rebounds while shooting 0-for-5 from the floor over a season-low 19 minutes.
Friday, Miller said he plans to play against Maryland, stating as long as he’s able to warm up and loosen the muscle, he said he feels fine.
“It’s good,” Miller said. “Just taking it slow, day by day, step by step, really just getting it back to 100 percent.”
Alabama head coach Nate Oats said Miller would not practice during the live period of Friday’s practice. However, he’s confident his leading scorer will be ready to go Saturday.
“He’s getting treatment already this morning,” Oats said. “He got it last night. He’s going to get a lot more this afternoon. We’re holding him out of anything live in practice today, not that we’re doing a whole lot of live stuff with the game yesterday and one tomorrow. He’ll shoot and do some non-live stuff.
“I think he’s going to be alright. He seemed like he was moving alright. It obviously bothered him. He didn’t shoot it particularly well, but he seemed like he was moving decent. So he’s just got to get his confidence back that he could play with it.”
Miller leads Alabama averaging 19.1 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 44.6% from the floor and a team-high 39.% from 3. He earned the SEC’s Player of the Year and Freshmen of the Year awards and was named the conference tournament’s MVP after averaging 20.3 points, 11 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the Crimson Tide’s three wins in Nashville over the weekend.
— Nate Oats has a record of 9-3 (.750) in his 12 postseason games at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Oats has a record of 3-2 in NCAA Tournament games as the head coach at Alabama and owns a 4-5 (.444) record across his five previous tournament appearances as a head coach
— Alabama reached 30 wins for the first time in program history. The Crimson Tide’s previous high as 27 in 2001-02.
— Alabama’s newcomers have scored 2,144 of UA’s 2,794 points (76.7%) this season
— Kevin Willard is the first coach in Maryland history to lead his squad to the NCAA Tournament in his first season at the helm.
— The NCAA Tournament bid marks Maryland’s sixth appearance in the last seven applicable years. It would be the seventh appearance in eight years if the 2020 tournament had not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.