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Alabama claimed their first ever trip to the Final Four by defeating Clemson 89-82 in the Elite Eight matchup at Arena in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Freshman Jarin Stevenson led Alabama with a career-high 19 points, hitting 5-of-8 3-pointers. Clemson initially held a 13-point lead, but Alabama rallied back with a strong 22-6 run before halftime, taking a three-point lead. Despite a rough shooting night from star Mark Sears, Alabama stayed ahead in the second half with Stevenson responding to Clemson’s rallies with clutch shots.

Alabama coach Nate Oats has transformed the Crimson Tide into a top basketball contender since taking over in 2019. While Alabama reached the Elite Eight once before in 2004, Oats has turned the program into a consistent contender in the SEC. Despite facing challenges due to the overshadowing football program’s success under Nick Saban, Oats has been determined to elevate Alabama basketball to the highest level. Making it to the Final Four represents a significant milestone for the program and demonstrates their ability to compete with the top programs in the country.

Alabama’s path to the Final Four included impressive performances from key players such as Grant Nelson and Mark Sears. Sears led Alabama in scoring with 23 points against Clemson, shooting 7-of-14 from the 3-point line. Stevenson’s breakout game added much-needed firepower off the bench, contributing 19 points and three rebounds to help propel Alabama past Clemson. The team’s success in the NCAA tournament showcases their depth and ability to respond to challenges on the court.

Despite facing early adversity against Clemson’s strong defense, Alabama managed to find its rhythm and knock down critical shots, especially from beyond the arc. Alabama’s superior shooting performance in the second half, going 10-of-15 from 3-point range, ultimately secured their victory over Clemson. The Crimson Tide’s ability to maintain composure and respond to Clemson’s attempts to cut the deficit highlights their resilience and determination to secure a historic Final Four berth.

With the Final Four on the horizon, Alabama is set to face off against top-ranked UConn in a highly anticipated matchup. Alabama’s journey to the Final Four represents the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to building a competitive basketball program. Oats’ leadership and the team’s collective effort have propelled them to this historic moment, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage and compete against the best programs in the country. As Alabama prepares to take on UConn, they remain focused on the task at hand and strive to make a lasting impact in the NCAA tournament.

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