A dark cloud has followed Alabama Basketball all season, with rumors and off-court investigations. However, Alabama dominated Southeastern Conference play, including winning the 2023 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, earning Alabama the honor of being selected as the top seed of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Heading into the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Alabama was the favorite to reach the Final Four and win a school’s first National Championship. Yet, San Diego State and lady luck had different plans for Head Coach Nate Oats and his Crimson Tide Basketball program as the magical season came to a screeching halt at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky, during the Sweet 16.
With the early exit in the Sweet 16 for Alabama comes the question of what-ifs. Without question, Head Coach Nate Oats and his 2022-2023 Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball team are one of the best basketball teams to never a National Championship. Alabama joined the dreaded company of other programs that have run the race but failed to cross the finish line as champions. It wasn’t for the lack of talent on the roster or the coaching staff. Alabama ran into a San Diego State Basketball team that wanted to shock the world to continue dancing in the NCAA Tournament.
The first is, what if Alabama had not had the off-the-court issues? Would Alabama have been able to devote all its attention to competing for a National Championship rather than worrying about keeping the stories in line with what the Alabama legal team was reporting to the program? Truthfully, many great National Championship teams; often don’t have to worry about drama off the court. As much as Alabama would like to deny the fact, the off-the-court issues became a distraction for the Crimson Tide when it came to the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament.
Second, what we saw in the 2023 NCAA Tournament was true madness. What started on Thursday of the First Round with FDU dominating Purdue, ending with the Final Four. Everything in between was pure mayhem, and it was beautiful for the college basketball fan and the sport as a whole. Every year we see upsets, we see cinderella take shape, but for whatever reason, March Madness in 2023 was everything we needed it to be. If you’re a team like Alabama, you can be upset with how it ended, but you aren’t alone. Many great teams started the NCAA Tournament with the same skillset to win a National Championship but ran into a buzzsaw that many call madness.
As far as the future of Alabama Basketball? As long as Nate Oats is the Head Coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, that basketball program will be in contention to not only win an SEC Championship, but a National Championship contenders will be on the doorstep for Alabama Basketball for years to come. Before every National Championship comes to a team, that lays the groundwork for those guys to follow. When looking back on the 2022-2023 Alabama Basketball team, many will remember the team as the one that positioned Alabama for a future of Championships.
What Head Coach Nate Oats got his Alabama Basketball team to accomplish during the 2022-2023 season deserves a lifetime of celebration and excitement. Even with an early exit, Alabama Basketball has a future of joyous enthusiasm ahead of them. Nate Oats and his Crimson Tide will return once more to further the reach of Alabama Basketball.