Alabama to square off with Maryland for spot in NIT Final Four

Anthony Grant will attempt to guide Alabama to its second NIT Final Four berth in the last three years Tuesday night against Maryland. (

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama men's basketball team is set to host the Maryland Terrapins in the quarterfinals of the 2013 National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff between the top-seeded Crimson Tide and the No. 2 seed Terps is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT and will be televised on ESPN.

The winner of Tuesday's game advances to the semifinals, which will be held on April 2 in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Maryland (24-12, 8-10 ACC) travels to Tuscaloosa for the NIT quarterfinals after winning games against Niagara (86-70) in the first round and Denver (62-52) in the second round. Both contests were played in College Park, Md.

The Terps are led by sophomore guard/forward Dez Wells, who enters the game at Alabama leading Maryland in scoring (13.2 ppg), second in assists (3.0 apg) and field goal percentage (.532) and is third in rebounding (4.9 rpg) and steals (33).

Seven-foot center Alex Len is second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg), and leads Maryland in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg).

The Crimson Tide (23-12, 12-6 SEC) advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals with a 66-54 win over Stanford last Saturday afternoon. Sophomore guard Levi Randolph led Alabama with 16 points and a pair of steals, while freshman guard Retin Obasohan had 14 points and six boards - both career highs.

Junior guard Trevor Releford leads UA in scoring (15.1 ppg) and steals (2.1 spg), while sophomore guards Trevor Lacey (11.5 ppg) and Rodney Cooper (10.1 ppg) also average in double figures.

The Tide is playing in its 12th NIT in program history, owning a 23-14 record in the event. Alabama last appeared in the NIT in 2011, also earning a No. 1 seed. That year, the Crimson Tide reached the NIT Finals, falling in the championship game to Wichita State.

General admission tickets for the Alabama-Maryland NIT Quarterfinal game are on currently sale.

Ticket prices are as follows: $10 for courtside seats (front court and back court) and baseline reserved seats (those tickets are available only to regular season courtside and baseline ticket holders); $9 for adult general admission seats; $4 for general admission tickets for youths age 18 and under; and $4 for UA Students who present a valid I.D.

All seats for the NIT are general admission, except courtside (front court and back court) and baseline seating areas.

All customers are encouraged to purchase online and use the "print at home" delivery method to avoid lines at the Will Call window, regardless of whether they are purchasing general admission or reserved seats.

Saturday's contest can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call. Fans can follow the in-game action with live tweets on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaMBB.


Gameday Matchup {}MDALA W-L22-1221-12Avg Points71.263.1Avg Points Allowed64.259.0Home Record16-314-3Road Record3-74-8Current StreakL1L1LineAlabama -4, O/U: 127.0Team Stat Leaders {}MDALA PointsD. Wells 15.5L. Randolph 14.5ReboundsN. Faust 8.5D. Pollard 7.0AssistsP. Howard 3.5T. Lacey 2.5StealsN. Faust 2.0T. Releford 3.5BlocksJ. Layman 2.0M. Gueye 1.0


Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

On what his team has done better in the postseason:

"I haven't had the opportunity to sit back and reflect. We just played Saturday and we play again on Tuesday, so I'm in preparation mode trying to see what we need to do to get a win. But if you just look at the numbers, we've done the same thing we've done all season and that's defending well. I think the numbers say that. In the two NIT games, we've rebounded the ball well. Any time you do those two things in a game, rebound and defend, you are going to have a chance. Areas that the numbers say we have to get better is I'd like to see us take care of the ball better. Our assist-to-turnover ratio needs to get better."

On Levi Randolph's play as of late:

"Levi has been really efficient and has taken advantage of what the defense is giving him. He has talked about putting himself in the position to be successful and at the end of the day that's really what it's all about. That's what I want for him and for all of our guys. He has done a good job of attacking and getting to the free throw line. From a defensive standpoint, Levi is a guy who has guarded a lot of different styles of players. I think during this time of the year, you want to be in your groove and it's good to see him do some of the things that he has been able to do."

On Maryland going to a five-guard lineup vs. Denver:

"They are capable of that. They have a very deep and versatile roster and those are things we've talked to our guys about. They have the ability to go with five guards like they did against Denver, or go traditional with two bigs. They have good size and physicality. They have played a lot of different ways during the course of the year, so that's something that we have to be prepared for."

On teams that Alabama has played this season that remind him of Maryland:

"They mirror us in a lot of ways in terms of the way they press, having guys that play multiple positions, playing with a lot of effort and I think they are one of the best defensive teams in their conference. From a versatility standpoint, they are a deep team with a lot of moveable parts."

On Nick Jacobs' improvement:

"I think from the beginning of the year to where he is now, Nick has made a really big improvement. He is still a little hampered with some back issues, but I think he gave us some good minutes in the Stanford game and did a good job defensively on Stanford's bigs. Like we said all year, when he is playing up to his abilities, he is a huge asset to our team. We just need to get him used to bringing that consistency on both sides of the ball."

Sophomore Guard Levi Randolph

On Maryland's leading scorer Dez Wells:

"We watched a little bit of film (Sunday) and he is a really good player. He can get to the rim, can shoot the ball and is really fast. He is a good defender too. I am sure we will go over it more (Monday), but from what I've seen he is a very good player."

On Maryland beating Duke twice this season:

"We just need to do what coach asks us to do and play our style of play. The rest will take care of itself."

Junior Guard Trevor Releford

On Maryland beating Duke twice this season:

"Maryland is a good team. They can beat anyone on any given night and we just have to be ready."


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