| MBB/WBB NIT Tournament: Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls in Overtime to Norfolk State, 80-79

UA Press Release

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama earned the No. 1 seed in the 2019 National Invitation Tournament and will play host to No. 8 seed Norfolk State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU. It marks the fourth consecutive season under head coach Avery Johnson that the Crimson Tide has played in the postseason, earning three NIT bids (2016, 2017 and 2019) and an NCAA at-large nod (2018).

This marks the third time that UA will be the No. 1 seed in the NIT since the seeding system began in 2007. The Crimson Tide, who earned a top seed by virtue of being one of the first four teams left out of this year's NCAA Tournament, owns a record of 6-2 as a top seed in the NIT, reaching the championship game in 2011 where it fell to Wichita State and in 2013 when Alabama reached the quarterfinals before falling at home to Maryland in the quarterfinals.

The Crimson Tide and Spartans will meet for just the second time in program history when the two teams square off in the NIT opening round. The only other contest played in the series came in coach Johnson's first season at the helm when Alabama defeated Norfolk State, 69-48, on Jan. 2, 2016, in Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama is playing in the NIT for the 16th time in program history and the sixth time in the last eight years when it takes the floor on Wednesday night. The Crimson Tide owns a 24-18 (.571) all-time record in the event, with both the 16 appearances and 24 total wins leading all SEC programs in NIT play.

THE BROADCAST

• Wednesday's game will air on ESPNU with Dave LaMont (play-by-play) and Sean Harrington (analyst) on the call.

• The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, Chris Stewart (play-by-play) and Bryan Passink (analyst) on the call. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

PROMOTIONS

• The first 500 students will receive free admission, courtesy of Coca-Cola, by scanning their ACT card at the student entrance. Tickets for any additional students are $4 each.

NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW

• Graduate senior Riley Norris will become the program leader in career games played with an appearance in Wednesday night's NIT opener vs. the Spartans. Should he see action, Norris will play in his 136th career game at Alabama, moving past Levi Randolph (135 games played) as the program leader in the category.

• This marks the third time that UA will be the No. 1 seed in the NIT since the seeding system began in 2007. The Crimson Tide, who earned a top seed by virtue of being one of the first four teams left out of this year's NCAA Tournament, owns a record of 6-2 as a top seed in the NIT, reaching the championship game in 2011 where it fell to Wichita State and in 2013 when Alabama reached the quarterfinals before falling at home to Maryland in the quarterfinals.

• Senior Donta Hall became the 50th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for his career and enters the NIT with 1,008 points in his career. In doing so, Hall has recorded more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds (838) and 200 blocks (226) throughout his career, becoming the fifth player in program history to reach all of those milestones. The Luverne, Ala., native joined Leon Douglas (1,909 points, 1,279 rebounds and 235 blocks), Robert Horry (1,591 points, 929 rebounds and 286 blocks), Jermareo Davidson (1,268 points, 918 rebounds and 221 blocks) and JaMychal Green (1,656 points, 912 rebounds and 212 blocks) as the only players in program history to achieve the feat.

• Following the conclusion of play at the SEC Tournament, Alabama had an RPI of No. 59 and owned the No. 15 overall strength of schedule. The Tide owned a 3-10 record against Quadrant 1 teams and a 7-3 mark against Quadrant 2 opposition. Alabama played a total of 18 games against 13 teams that made this year's NCAA Tournament, finishing with six wins (6-12) against the group.

• Alabama finished league play as one of the better defensive teams in the SEC. The Crimson Tide finished the conference campaign ranked third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.320), fourth in field goal percentage defense (43.5 percent) and fifth in scoring defense (71.9) against conference opponents.

• The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the NIT second round game, which will be played on March 22, 23, 24 or 25 with time, location and television info to be announced after round one's contest.

NIT NOTES

• UA is making its 16th NIT appearance in school history and its sixth in the last nine years. The 16 NIT showings leads all SEC schools. Tennessee, which made its last NIT appearance in 2013, is second with 13.

• Alabama is 24-18 (.571) all-time in the event. The 24 victories gives the Tide the most NIT wins among SEC schools, surpassing South Carolina's 22 wins in NIT play.

• Wednesday's home game against Norfolk State marks the 10th time that the Tide has opened the postseason event on its home floor. In fact, over its 15 previous NIT appearances in program history, Alabama has hosted the opener nine times, winning seven of those contests (7-2). The lone losses in an NIT home openers came in 1993 against UAB (lost, 58-56) and in 2017 vs. Richmond (lost, 71-64).

• Alabama owns a record of 13-4 in 17 home games and has won eight of its last 10 home NIT contests entering Wednesday's game.

• Including SEC Tournament play, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson owns a postseason record of 7-7 and is 0-2 in the NIT.

• Alabama has played just three true road games in its last 15 NIT appearances. In all, the Tide has played a total of nine true road games (out of 42 total games played) and sports a record of 4-5 in true road NIT games.

• The Tide has an 11-7 (.611) record in the NIT dating back to the 2001 tournament, and has captured wins in seven of its last 12 NIT games.

ABOUT ALABAMA

• Alabama enters play in the NIT with an 18-15 overall record and finished with an 8-10 mark in league play. The Crimson Tide reached the SEC Tournament quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season after defeating Ole Miss, 62-57, before falling to No. 4 Kentucky, 73-55.

• Guard Kira Lewis Jr., who was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, leads a balanced scoring attack that features eight Alabama players averaging at least 5.9 points per game. Three UA players average in double figures as Lewis' 13.6 points per game tops the Tide and ranks 18th in the SEC. Senior Donta Hall and sophomore John Petty Jr. also average in double figures with 10.6 and 10.2 points per game, respectively.

• Lewis leads UA in assists (2.9 apg), minutes (31.6) and free throw shooting (89-of-113, .788), while ranking second in steals (28) and threes made (53) and attempted (145). Meanwhile, Hall tops the team in total dunks (63), rebounds (8.7 rpg), blocks (1.6 bpg), double-figure contests (22) and double-doubles (13). He currently ranks among the league leaders in double-doubles (1st), rebounding (1st) and blocked shots (9th). Petty leads the Tide in three-point field goals made (56) and attempted (163) and ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.2) and minutes (28.8).

• Junior Tevin Mack, who scored a season-high 25 points in the win over Georgia, is averaging 9.1 ppg, while junior Dazon Ingram (7.2 ppg), senior Riley Norris (6.6 ppg) and sophomores Herbert Jones (6.0 ppg) and Alex Reese (5.9 ppg) are all averaging at least 5.9 points per contest. Ingram tops the team in three-point shooting (16-of-40, .400), while Lewis (53-of-135, .366) and Norris (29-of-82, .354) are trailing just behind. Meanwhile Jones, who is considered one of the top defenders in the Southeastern Conference, tops UA with 17 charges taken and in total steals (31).

• As a team, the Crimson Tide has been outrebounded in only 11 of its 33 games on the year and ranks sixth in the SEC and 82nd nationally with a +3.2 advantage on the glass (37.6-34.4). UA is shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc on the year, while outscoring the competition by 0.5 points per game (71.8-71.3). Additionally, the Tide is 28th in the nation in blocks per game (4.7).

• During conference play, Lewis led the team in scoring (13.2 ppg), assists (2.6 apg) and minutes (32.3 mpg), while Petty averaged 10.8 ppg and knocked down a team-leading 37.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (33-of-87). Meanwhile, Hall averaged a near double-double at 10.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game – a number that topped the SEC in conference games only. Jones led the Tide in steals (16) against league opposition.

• As a team in league play, the Crimson Tide owned an 8-10 record and finished tied for ninth overall. Alabama averaged 70.3 points per game in conference play, while outrebounded teams by +1.0 (36.6-35.6). The Tide shot 43.6 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from beyond the arc and 65.9 percent from the charity stripe in SEC play. During the SEC season, Alabama ranked among the league leaders in three-point field goal percentage defense (3rd, .320), defensive rebounds (26.3), rebounding offense (36.6) and blocked shots (4.4), while ranking fourth in field goal percentage defense (.435) and was fifth in scoring defense (71.9).

ABOUT NORFOLK STATE

• Norfolk State enters the NIT with an overall mark of 21-13 on the season. The Spartans finished league play with a 14-2 mark on its way to claiming the MEAC regular season title for just the second time in program history. NSU reached the championship game of the conference tournament, but fell to North Carolina Central, 50-47, back on March 16.

• Four NSU players were named to one of three all-conference teams, while freshman C.J. Kelly was voted to the MEAC All-Rookie team. Senior Derrik Jamerson Jr. and junior Nic Thomas each earned a spot on the league's second team, while senior Jordan Butler and junior Steven Whitley were named third team honorees. Head coach Robert Jones also was named the league's Coach of the Year.

• Thomas leads the team with 14.4 points per game, while ranking second in threes made (80), three-point field goal percentage (.390) and free throw percentage (.807). Meanwhile, Jamerson leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (85-of-166, .512) and leads the team in free throw percentage (.909), while ranking second on the team with 10.3 ppg. Whitley leads the team in assists (3.9 apg), while Butler is the team's leader in rebounding (6.3 rpg).

• As a team, Norfolk Stats is outscoring teams by 4.8 points per game (73.9-69.1) and outrebounding the opposition by 0.3 rebounds per game (36.2-35.9). The Spartans top the MEAC in field goal percentage defense (40.6 percent), three-point field goal percentage (36.9 percent) and blocks per game (4.4 bpg).

• Jones is in his sixth season at the helm of the Norfolk State program and owns a record of 108-95 (.532). In addition to being named the league's coach of the year, Jones is also a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, the Ben Jobe Award and the Skip Prosser Award – each highlighting a coach of the year aspects in their own way.

LEWIS, HALL EACH EARN ALL-SEC RECOGNITION

• The Southeastern Conference announced the league's 2019 men's basketball postseason honors on March 13, as Alabama's Kira Lewis Jr. was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, while Donta Hall earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team for a second consecutive season.

• Lewis became the third straight Crimson Tide player to earn a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team, joining Collin Sexton (2018) and Braxton Key (2017). Meanwhile, Hall becomes the first Alabama player in the history of the award (began in 1991) to be named as one of the SEC's top defenders in two separate seasons.

• Lewis, who at the age of 17 years and 11 months is the second-youngest Division I men's basketball player in the country, leads the Tide on the offensive side of the ball. He tops UA in scoring, assists, minutes, double-figure scoring games and 20-point games this season, while ranking second on the team in steals and threes made and attempted.

• Hall has been a force down low for the Crimson Tide throughout the season. The Luverne, Ala., native ranks among the league leaders and tops Alabama in both rebounding and blocked shots, while his 13 double-doubles on the year are the most by any player in the SEC. During SEC play, Hall finished atop the league statistics with 8.9 rebounds per contest, while also collecting 10.3 points a game.
 

bama alum

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Talking head on the local channel last night suggested attendance could be pretty low tonight. If I didn't have a game to coach tonight, I'd entertain the idea of going. If for no other reason, then to just get back to campus to catch a game...
 

#80

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There were many good vacant seats at the game with the barn so low turn out tonight would not surprise me.
 

EasyTider

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Early on, neither the crowd (and by crowd I mean few supporters) or the team interested in playing tonight.
 

bamanc50

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4 turnovers in 2:00 minutes. Way to coach them up Avery.
 

#80

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Exactly what I expected sloppy uninspired play from a team that may not be all in for the coach.
 

EasyTider

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I guess most of us sidewalkers have moved on now that spring football has reconvened; but I guess it’s safe to assume the Lil General will be back (unless he steps down and surrenders some of that big buyout)?

An AD doesn’t allow a team to accept a NIT bid if he intends to replace the coach, right?
 

bamanc50

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I guess most of us sidewalkers have moved on now that spring football has reconvened; but I guess it’s safe to assume the Lil General will be back (unless he steps down and surrenders some of that big buyout)?

An AD doesn’t allow a team to accept a NIT bid if he intends to replace the coach, right?
If AD let’s CAJ come back might want to look at replacing the AD.
 

bamanc50

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So easy being a fan arm chairing the decisions.
No. Not an easy decision. FYI. I was a basketball season ticket holder for 37 years. Decide to not renew my season tickets the year before they pulled the plug on Anthony Grant. We’re seeing the same thing now as then.
 

ElephantStomp

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Norfolk shouldn’t even be close to Bama, but alas here we are.

There is no other proof anybody needs that we need a new coach than this shit
 

EasyTider

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What kills me is team seems happy to be about to lose as #1 seed. Our team seems to have ‘no shame’.
 

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