Alabama Crimson Tide Men's Basketball
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Alabama Crimson Tide Men's Basketball
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama Athletics logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Alabama
Athletic directorGreg Byrne
Head coachNate Oats (2nd season)
LocationTuscaloosa, Alabama
ArenaColeman Coliseum
(Capacity: 15,316)
NicknameCrimson Tide
Student sectionCrimson Chaos
ColorsCrimson and White[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987*, 1990, 1991, 2004
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1975, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987*, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2018
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987*, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2018
*vacated by NCAA[2]
Conference Tournament Champions
1930, 1934, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991
Conference Regular Season Champions
1930, 1934, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1987, 2002

The Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team represents the University of Alabama in NCAA Division I men's basketball. The program plays in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). In the conference it trails only long-time basketball powerhouse Kentucky in SEC tournament titles, is third behind Kentucky and Arkansas in wins, and is also third behind Kentucky and LSU in SEC regular season conference titles. Alabama was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion for the 1929-30 season by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[3]

The men's basketball program has spent most of its history in the shadow of Alabama's football team, but has risen in stature over the past several decades. Under former coach Mark Gottfried, the team achieved a No. 1 national ranking briefly in 2003, and competed for an NCAA Regional Tournament Championship in 2004. The program was notable as a regular conference basketball contender in the 1980s and early 1990s under the direction of coach Wimp Sanderson and in the 1970s under coach C. M. Newton. Alabama has eight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances. In the 2003-04 season, the team defeated #1-seeded Stanford in the NCAA Tournament, and reached the Elite Eight round where they lost to the eventual national champion, Connecticut.


Former coaches with at least five years with the Crimson Tide include the following: Hank Crisp (1923-1942, 1945-1946), Hayden Riley (1960-1968), C. M. Newton (1968-1980), Wimp Sanderson (1980-1992) - Alabama's winningest coach (.692), David Hobbs (1992-1998), Mark Gottfried (1998-2009), and Anthony Grant (2009-2015).[4][5]

Other coaches include John Dee, Floyd Burdette, and Charles A. Bernier.[5]

C. M. Newton

In 1968, legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who was also Alabama's athletic director, called Kentucky men's basketball coach Adolph Rupp looking for someone to turn around Alabama's basketball program. Rupp recommended C. M. Newton, a former backup player at Kentucky who had been at Transylvania University for 12 years.[6] In 12 seasons at Alabama, Newton led the Tide to a record of 211-123. The Crimson Tide won three straight SEC titles under Newton (1974, 1975, and 1976), the only program besides Kentucky to accomplish this feat.[6] Newton also guided Alabama to four NIT and two NCAA Men's Division I Championship tournament berths, prompting the school to name a recruiting suite in his honor in 2006.[7]

Just as he did at Transylvania, Newton recruited Alabama's first black player, Wendell Hudson, in 1969, integrating his second team in as many coaching stops.[8]

Wimp Sanderson

Newton resigned as head coach after the 1980-81 season to become assistant commissioner of the SEC. He was succeeded by his top assistant, Wimp Sanderson. He had been at Alabama since 1960 as a graduate assistant to Newton's predecessor, Hayden Riley; he was named a full-fledged assistant in 1961. In 12 years as head coach his teams averaged 21.8 wins a year, with a 267-119 record, and they won 4 SEC tournaments. They played in one NIT and eight NCAA tournaments making the "Sweet 16" five times. Sanderson is the only coach in Alabama history to win 200 or more games in his first 10 years. He was the SEC Coach of the Year in 1987, 1989 and 1990, and was the National Coach of the Year in 1987.[9]

Sanderson was best known for wearing garish plaid sports jackets on the sidelines. At one point, Coleman Coliseum was known as the "Plaid Palace", and the mid-court logo was painted in a crimson-and-white plaid pattern.

David Hobbs

Hobbs was hired at Alabama as an assistant coach for Wimp Sanderson in 1985 and spent seven years as an assistant in Tuscaloosa helping the Crimson Tide win one SEC Championship and four SEC Tournament crowns while the Tide made four appearances in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. As an assistant, he had the opportunity to coach such All-SEC performers as Robert Horry, James "Hollywood" Robinson and Latrell Sprewell.

When Sanderson left Alabama following the 1992 season, Hobbs was named head coach. In his first season, the Tide finished 16-13 and advanced to the NIT. In 1994 and 1995, Alabama recorded 20-win seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament behind the play of future NBA All-Star Antonio McDyess. In 1996, Hobbs led UA to a 19-13 mark and a berth in the NIT Final Four. He resigned his post following the 1998 season after compiling a 110-76 (.594) career record and producing nine All-SEC players.

Mark Gottfried

Mark Gottfried (1998-2009)
Season Overall Record SEC Record Postseason
1998-99 17-15 7-11 NIT 1st Round
1999-2000 13-16 6-10 None
2000-01 25-11 8-8 NIT Championship Game
2001-02 27-8 12-4 NCAA 2nd round
2002-03 17-12 7-9 NCAA 1st Round
2003-04 20-13 8-8 NCAA Elite Eight
2004-05 24-8 12-4 NCAA 1st Round
2005-06 18-13 10-6 NCAA 2nd round
2006-07 20-12 7-9 NIT 1st Round
2007-08 17-16 5-11 Declined invitation to CBI[10]
2008-09 12-7 2-3 Resigned mid-season.
Overall record: 210-130 (.618)

Mark Gottfried served as the Crimson Tide's head coach from the 1998-99 season until midway through the 2008-09 season.[4] Gottfried played 3 seasons of basketball at Alabama under Wimp Sanderson, and the Crimson Tide advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in each of those seasons. He was hired by Alabama in March 1998 after coaching at Murray State for three seasons.

The Crimson Tide achieved the highest pinnacle ever for the school in both the NCAA Championship Tournament and the Associated Press Poll reaching the Elite Eight in the tournament in 2004 and reaching the No. 1 spot in the nation in the AP poll in 2002, both under Mark Gottfried's command.

Gottfried led the Tide to its only SEC Championship under his watch during the 2001-02 season, although the team never won a conference tournament championship during his tenure. For his efforts in 2002, Gottfried was named SEC Coach of the Year by both the Associated Press and his fellow Southeastern Conference coaches. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment as coach at Alabama was leading the Crimson Tide to five consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2002-2006, another first for the school that occurred under his watch.

Gottfried resigned on January 26, 2009 with 11 regular season games still remaining on the team's schedule. Then Athletic Director Mal Moore named long-time Alabama assistant and former player, Philip Pearson as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2008-09 season.

Anthony Grant

On March 27, 2009 Anthony Grant agreed in principle to become the 20th Crimson Tide head men's basketball coach.[11] Grant came to Alabama after serving as the head coach at VCU from 2006 to 2009.

After a mediocre first season, Grant led the veteran 2010-11 team to a SEC West title and a 2nd-place finish in the 2011 NIT. The 2011-12 team endured the suspensions of several star players to finish with a 21-12 record and a berth in the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, where they lost in the round of 64 to Creighton. This was the Crimson Tide's first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2006. In March 2015, Grant was fired by Alabama after six seasons. Assistant coach John Brannen served as interim head coach for the 2015 NIT tournament.[12]

Avery Johnson

On April 5, 2015, Avery Johnson agreed to become Alabama's next head coach.[13] The former NBA coach said he was attracted to the position because he perceived it as "a big challenge" in that Alabama is not a "perennial favorite" and has never won a championship before.[14] Johnson's 2017-18 team finished with a 20-16 (8-10) record and was invited to the NCAA tournament. The next season, the Tide finished 18-16 (8-10) and Johnson was let go at the end of the campaign.[15]

Nate Oats

On March 27, 2019, Nate Oats was named Alabama's next head coach.[16] Oats was previously the coach for the Buffalo Bulls, and had led them to 3 NCAA tournament appearances in the past 4 years.



Front view of Coleman Coliseum

The Crimson Tide basketball team practices and plays in Coleman Coliseum, a multi-purpose arena on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. The arena was built for $4.2 million and opened in 1968 as a replacement for the aging Foster Auditorium. In 2005, the building underwent a renovation in which more seats were added. The arena officially seats 15,314 people.

Coleman Coliseum was named for Jefferson Jackson Coleman, a prominent alumnus and longtime supporter of the University of Alabama. Until his death in 1995, he was the only person that had attended every Alabama football bowl game, starting with the Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 1926. Prior to 1990, the building was known as Memorial Coliseum.

Fan support

Mark's Madness

"Mark's Madness" was a student organization named after former Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried, which is also a play on the nickname for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, "March Madness".[17] It was created by a group of Alabama students in January 2000 in an attempt to create a more exciting atmosphere in Coleman Coliseum.[18] During the Gottfried era, the Crimson Tide was an impressive 137-27 (.835) in Coleman Coliseum.[17] Mark's Madness was the largest student organization on campus during its time.[17] The end of Mark Gottfried's tenure in early 2009 also meant the end of the Mark's Madness name.

Crimson Chaos

After Coach Anthony Grant was hired, a group of senior students approached the UA Marketing Department in the summer 2009 about resurrecting the student section organization. During the first exhibition game of the 2009 season, it was announced that the new name of the student organization for supporting Alabama basketball would be "Crimson Chaos".

As Crimson Chaos entered its second year, it officially registered as a University of Alabama student group and adopted a new format. In addition to supporting men's basketball, Crimson Chaos expanded to support all University of Alabama sports, becoming the official student group of athletics at the University.[19] The group also tried new things to make the atmosphere in Coleman Coliseum as intimidating as it was in previous years, including adding the "Roll Tide Roller Coaster".[20] The newly energized environment Crimson Chaos created in Coleman Coliseum helped the Tide complete an undefeated season at home (for the 2010-11 season) with a 19-0 record, including wins over then #12 Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi State.

Post-season results

NCAA tournament

Alabama has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 21 times. It has reached the Sweet Sixteen eight times[21][22] and the Elite Eight once in 2004. Alabama has an overall NCAA Tournament record of 21–21.[23][24]

Year Seed Round Opponent Result/Score
1975 - First Round Arizona State L 94–97
1976 - First Round
Sweet Sixteen
North Carolina
W 79–64
L 69–74
1982 #4 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
St. John's
North Carolina
W 69–68
L 69–74
1983 #6 First Round Lamar L 50–73
1984 #9 First Round Illinois State L 48–49
1985 #7 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
North Carolina State
W 50–41
W 63–59
L 55–61
1986 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
W 97–80
W 58–56
L 63–68
1987* #2 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
North Carolina A&T
New Orleans
W 88–71
W 101–76
L 82–103
1989 #6 First Round South Alabama L 84–86
1990 #7 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Colorado State
Loyola Marymount
W 71–54
W 77–55
L 60–62
1991 #4 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Murray State
Wake Forest
W 89–79
W 96–88
L 70–93
1992 #5 First Round
Second Round
North Carolina
W 80–75
L 55–64
1994 #9 First Round
Second Round
W 76–70
L 73–83
1995 #5 First Round
Second Round
Oklahoma State
W 91–85OT
L 52–66
2002 #2 First Round
Second Round
Florida Atlantic
Kent State
W 78–86
L 58–71
2003 #10 First Round Indiana L 62–67
2004 #8 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Southern Illinois
W 65–64
W 70–67
W 80–71
L 71–87
2005 #5 First Round UW-Milwaukee L 73–83
2006 #10 First Round
Second Round
W 90–85
L 59–62
2012 #9 Second Round[a] Creighton L 57–58
2018 #9 First Round
Second Round
Virginia Tech
W 86–83
L 58–81

* Vacated by the NCAA

  1. ^ The Round of 64 was named the second round with the play-in games named the first round then.

NIT appearances

Alabama has appeared in 16 National Invitation Tournaments, reaching the championship game on two occasions. Alabama has an overall NIT record of 24-19.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result/Score
1973 - First Round
Third Place Game
Virginia Tech
North Carolina
W 87–86
W 69–65
L 73–74
L 69–88
1977 - First Round
Third Place Game
Memphis State
Virginia Tech
W 86–63
W 79–72
L 76–82
L 89–102
1979 - First Round
Second Round
Third Place Game
St. Bonaventure
Texas A&M
Ohio State
W 98–89
W 90–88
W 72–68
L 68–87
W 96–86
1980 - First Round
Second Round
Penn State
Murray State
W 53–49
L 62–70
1981 - First Round
Second Round
St. John's
W 73–69
L 70–75
1993 - First Round UAB L 56–58
1996 - First Round
Second Round
Third Place Game
South Carolina
St. Joseph's
W 72–69
W 72–49
W 68–67
L 69–74
L 76–87
1999 - First Round Wake Forest L 57–73
2001 - First Round
Second Round
Championship Game
Seton Hall
W 85–79
W 79–69
W 85–77
W 74–63
L 66–79
2007 #5 First Round Massachusetts L 87–89
2011 #1 First Round
Second Round
Championship Game
Coastal Carolina
New Mexico
Miami (FL)
Wichita State
W 68–44
W 74–67
W 79–64
W 62–61
L 57–66
2013 #1 First Round
Second Round
W 62–43
W 66-54
L 57-58
2015 #6 First Round
Second Round
Miami (FL)
W 79-58
L 66-73
2016 #5 First Round Creighton L 54-72
2017 #3 First Round Richmond L 64-71
2019 #1 First Round Norfolk State L 79-80OT

All-time leaders


Former players

Alabama has seen its stars go on to win nine NBA Championships and earn six All-Star selections, six All-Defensive Team honors, three All-Rookie honors and more than $390 million in the NBA. Former Alabama players have gone on to suit up in nearly 10,000 NBA games and have scored more than 90,000 cumulative points.

Tide Alumni currently in the NBA

Source: Tide Alumnus list[25]

Former All–Americans

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Music Scenes