HomeSportsTide Illustrated - The 3-Pointer: Three takeaways from Alabama's win over Maryland

Tide Illustrated – The 3-Pointer: Three takeaways from Alabama’s win over Maryland

Birmingham, Ala. — Heading to the Sweet 16 with two No. 1 seeds across the board is Alabama, the top seed.

Unlike Kansas and Purdue, the Crimson Tide was able to avoid an upset against No. 8 seed Maryland, defeating the Terrapins 73–50 and punching their ticket to Louisville.

Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s win.

it’s finally miller time

Miller’s introduction to March Madness has been anything but friendly. Alabama’s most consistent scorer this season struggled to find the bottom of the net as he was held scoreless for more than 53 minutes in Birmingham. However, against Maryland, Miller finally got his offense going as he was driving layups at 6:44 and went 0-for-8 from the floor in the first half. After seeing his first shot fall, Miller grew in confidence as he finished with nine points in the first half.

With Miller finally getting the proverbial monkey off his back, all that was left was for him to unleash one from the deep and he did just that. Within the first two minutes of the second half, Miller nailed a 3-pointer and then two possessions later, he did it again. Two deep balls gave Alabama a two-point lead, one it would not relinquish thanks to his 19 points.

Alabama sticks with the beginning

If there’s a calling card for this year’s Alabama team, it’s depth. The team, which is known for contributing offense of eight different scorers, shortened the bench against Maryland. Usually a force for Alabama, it was not very effective against Maryland as it scored just three points off the bench in the first half. Nimari Burnett tallied all three points at the free-throw line with less than four minutes to go in the first half.

Even with Burnett’s three points from the line, Bench went a combined 0-for-4 from the field and was plus-seven on the floor in the first 20 minutes. For comparison, the starting unit was plus-68 during that stretch. Noah Gurley scored the unit’s first basket from the floor at 8:46 of the second half.

Reese’s error helped score in the first half

In Saturday’s matchup, all eyes were on the battle between 6-foot-9 forward Julian Reese and 7-footer Charles Bediako. Reese, who is Maryland’s leading rebounder and shot blocker, was hampered by an early foul on Saturday. Reese picked up his third foul with 8:50 left in the first half and with him on the bench Alabama ended the first half with five points on a 14–3 run. During that span, three of Alabama’s five baskets were made with Maryland’s rim guard glued to the bench.

With Reese missing, Maryland really struggled to get its offense going as it missed 20 of its 22 shots in the half. Alabama dominated the rebounding battle, matching 44 boards to Maryland’s 32. Bediaco took full advantage of an undersized Maryland team and matched his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.



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