2018 NCAA Tournament: No. 1 Villanova catches fire from 3 to end Alabama’s season

PITTSBURGH — Alabama basketball hung tough in the first half, but a three-point barrage from No. 1 Villanova to open the second half was too much for the Crimson Tide to overcome.

The Wildcats downed the Crimson Tide 81-58 on Saturday afternoon in PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Alabama finished the year 20-16 overall.

Collin Sexton’s last game?

The year of Collin Sexton was an exciting one for Alabama basketball. The freshman phenom helped carry the Crimson Tide back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, and was a big part of Alabama getting its first tournament win since 2006.

Sexton has to officially make the decision, but all signs point to him being a one-and-done as he is a projected lottery pick and considered the top guard in the nation.

Hopefully Alabama fans appreciated just how much Sexton lifted this program both on and off the court. He finished with 17 points after being removed from the game following a technical foul.

Second half run

Villanova opened the second half with an 18-1 scoring run to put the contest out of reach.

All of Alabama’s first half work defending the three went out the window as the Crimson Tide lost Villanova forward Mikal Bridges on a couple of open 3s early in the second half.

After only being up five at halftime, the Wildcats opened a 20-point lead with the first eight minutes of the second half and never let up. Villanova made its first six 3-pointers of the second half.

What’s next for Alabama basketball?

With the loss, Alabama’s season is over. The Crimson Tide won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2006 with its victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Alabama also put up a tough fight against Villanova, but the Wildcats were too much.

This experience should be a big boost for the 2018-19 team. Collin Sexton will likely head to the NBA as a projected lottery pick, but the rest of the squad should be back next season.

Alabama-Villanova Box score

The post 2018 NCAA Tournament: No. 1 Villanova catches fire from 3 to end Alabama’s season appeared first on SEC Country.

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