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A Sporting Event For The Ages: Alabama Fights Back Against Minnesota With Three Players

Coming into today, the University of Alabama sporting event that was on the national radar was the Iron Bowl between Alabama’s number one rated football program and number six rated Auburn. However, as Auburn was pulling away in their upset bid, another Alabama team stole the show. In a match-up that was primarily seen on Facebook live, the 25th ranked Alabama basketball team played in one of the most incredible sporting events I’ve ever watched against the 14th ranked Minnesota Gophers.

With about 13 minutes left in the game, Alabama hit a three to cut the Minnesota lead down to seven. There had been tempers flaring earlier in the game and when Dupree McBrayer and Dazon Ingram got tangled under the basket, chaos ensued. There was an on court brawl that the Alabama bench got involved in. 

As a result, the entire bench got ejected from the game, leaving Alabama with five eligible players for the rest of the game.

That’s when the game truly started getting interesting. 

A couple minutes later, Ingram picked up his fifth foul, leaving Alabama with only four eligible players for the final 11 minutes of the game. Less than a minute later, freshman John Petty landed awkwardly and needed assistance getting to the bench with an ankle injury. Alabama was down to THREE eligible players with 10:41 left in the game. At that point, Minnesota was up 13 points (67-54).

Alabama played the rest of the game three on five and it was truly incredible.  As opposed to Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, they played Avery Johnson’s triangle zone defense for the rest of the game and Minnesota primarily took open outside shots.

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However, on offense, superstar freshman Collin Sexton put his stamp on the game. He was getting doubled and tripled basically the whole game once they went down to three players and he was still making crazy shot after crazy shot. He finished with 40 points on 12-22 from the field. I don’t know how much this will help Sexton’s draft stock but I think he should shoot up boards for this game alone. He was incredible.

Sexton and his two remaining teammates, Galin Smith and Riley Norris, fought back valiantly to make this a truly incredible game. Smith and Norris weren’t even two of the players Alabama would want on the court had they gone into this insane situation. They had averaged about 12 and 15 minutes per game, respectively. This was something I’ve seen in Intramurals at my college rec center but I can’t remember seeing anything like it in a game at this level.

The trio outscored Minnesota’s team the rest of the game. They had a chance to tie the game when down three with the ball late in the game but ended up losing by five.

I’m usually not glued to my screen during an early season college basketball match-up but this was a sporting event that I’ll never forget. Anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to watch this live should definitely check out the highlights.

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