Depth of Alabama Basketball Shows Up in 4OT Win the No. 1 from North Carolina

On the pitch, things have been pretty easy for Brandon Miller in his first season so far. But on Sunday night against the country’s No. 1, he struggled offensively.

Miller finished with 14 points but shot 4 of 21 from the floor against North Carolina. Couple that with fellow starters Noah Clowney, who is out early with an injury, and Alabama had to let other players step up.

Mark Sears, Jahvon Quinerly and Charles Bediako took the call. All three ended the season with high points as the Crimson Tide defeated the Tar Heels 103-101 in quadruple overtime.

Sears was hot from beyond the arc in the first half, going 4 for 5 on 3-point attempts and finishing with 24 points. Quinerly came off the bench and had 21 points and eight assists. Bediako was huge in color and on the boards for the Crimson Tide during the overtime periods.

The second forward was challenged before the game by head coach Nate Oats to play better basketball. He had six points and eight points at the end of regulation. In overtime periods, he added eight more points and eight rebounds to finish with a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds, which earned him the blue-collar award for the game.

“A lot of guys got up and did plays,” Oats said. “Sears was huge. We needed someone to score for us when Brandon was struggling. They did a great job on Brandon. It was definitely not Brandon’s night so we had to win when Brandon was struggling as much as he was .I thought we needed some other guys to step up and Sears came up and made some big shots and led us in scoring.

Noah Gurley and Jaden Bradley also scored in double figures when coming off the bench. Even with no problems with a starter and their best player, the Alabama deep was able to hold their own with the nation’s top-ranked team for four overtime periods and eventually came out on top.

“It just shows our resilience,” Quinerly said after the game. “We didn’t quit. Four overtime hours is crazy. I’m still processing the game myself because it was a lot. I’m just proud of the lads, especially the younger lads. Brandon struggled a bit today and he still was You don’t see that often with a stud like him… It just shows that our younger boys are really ready to fight.”

Oats didn’t provide an injury update on Clowney after the game, but the ESPN show said he’s unlikely to return to the game with a hip contusion.

Alabama was in high demand early in the Phil Knight Invitational, beating No. 12 Michigan State 81-70 on Thanksgiving night. After losing to No. 20 UConn on Friday night, Sunday’s matchup against the Tar Heels was crucial. Losing to North Carolina wouldn’t hurt the resume, but it would mean Alabama leave Portland with a 2-1 record in the tournament.

The Crimson Tide had several chances to win, particularly at the end of regular time and in the first overtime, but continued to show courage when things didn’t go their way, winning in fourth overtime for their first win over a No. 1 team since 2004 And now, No. 18 Alabama returns home to the Coleman Coliseum with a 2-1 record in the tournament and a 6-1 record overall for a matchup against South Dakota State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday

“It’s definitely a statement win,” said Quinerly. “I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, you know, we have a young group. We had every reason to give away the game tonight and our younger boys struggled. And we just fought as an A team. It shows our resilience as a group…I think the guys will be more fixated on going to the state of South Dakota.

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Alabama Basketball upsets No. 1 North Carolina in four overtimes, 103-101