Since their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1975, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been a consistent presence in March. Often in the shadows of the football program, the basketball team has created a solid foundation for themselves over the years. Appearing in the NCAA Tournament over 19 times, the Crimson Tide has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen more than seven times, while reaching the Elite Eight once.
The Crimson Tide became an NCAA Tournament success in the 1980s under head coach Wimp Sanderson. Under Sanderson, Alabama reached the Big Dance 10 times with six trips to the Sweet 16. Sanderson won the SEC Coach of the Year three times and National Coach of the Year once in his tenure as the head coach of the Crimson Tide. Alabama took the next step in national prominence under head coach Mark Gottfried. Gottfried took over the reigns in 1998 and under his watch; the Crimson Tide reached their only Elite Eight appearance to go along with a number one ranking in the country.
The Tide reached the NCAA Tournament five straight seasons from 2002-2006 which is a program best. In 2004, Alabama advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1991. That same season is also when the Crimson Tide reached their lone Elite Eight appearance. The team was led by forward Kennedy Winston, who averaged 17 points throughout the season.
Alabama Crimson Tide Recent NCAA Tourament History
In 2012, the Crimson Tide made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006 after finishing 9-7 in the SEC during the regular season. Under head coach Anthony Grant, Alabama finished the season with a 21-12 and were led by guard Trevor Releford. Unfortunately, the number 9 seed Crimson Tide lost in their first game against the Creighton Blue Jays.