Roll Tide Nation
Coach Brad Bohannon and his Crimson Tide baseball team improved to 12-2 this season with victories on Tuesday, over the Birmingham Blazers , and Wednesday over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Although happy to claim the wins, Bohannon was not entirely pleased with his team’s performance. Both games should have been out of reach early, but late inning woes led to angsty victories. Birmingham scored two in the top of the ninth, and had the tying run aboard before Jeremy Randolph shut the door on the Blazers. The South Dakota State team showed a ton of fight to score three times in the ninth to tie the Tide at four each. The teams battled through 14 innings before Bama could plate the winning run. Alabama defeated Birmingham 4-3, and prevailed over SDS 5-4 in extra innings.
Game One: Won 4-3
Birmingham brought a 9-3 squad to town on Tuesday to battle the Tide. The game was originally scheduled for 5 p.m., but because of the cold snap that hit the state, was moved to 3 p.m. Bama has only played four games this season at the originally scheduled time because of weather.
Left-hander Garrett Rukes got the start on the mound for the Tide and pitched three outstanding innings, allowing three singles, with no runs, no walks, and three strikeouts over his 40 pitch stint. Bama dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when John Trousdale led off with a double, advanced on a Jeaux Breaux single, and scored on an RBI fielders choice by Brett Auerbach. Tyler Gentry singled Auerbach in for the other run in the frame.
The NFL Combine, fairly or not, can make or break a player’s draft stock. A bad workout can send someone hurtling, but a good one can turn a Day 2 pick into a first-rounder and a top-20 pick into a top-10 selection.
Which prospects stood out the most in Indianapolis this year? Here are ten players who helped themselves significantly with their on-field showings at the NFL Combine.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Murray did not work out at the NFL Combine, but he didn’t really need to. He has bigger hands than Baker Mayfield and measured up at 5-foot-10 and 1/8. It’s nitpicking over size, but Murray seems to be tall enough. The question at this point is not whether he’ll be picked in the first round, but instead whether he’ll go first overall. He certainly seems to have solidified his standing just ahead of Dwayne Haskins as the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board, even if his interviews led to some negative reviews.
There's still a little time left before college basketball's Championship Week, a pleasant prelude to the NCAA Tournament.
By now we know who the favorites are in the major conference tournaments: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. But what about the underdogs, teams on the bubble or those squads we still can't quite figure out? All have shown glimpses of being worthy of an invite to the Big Dance at some point this season but still likely have some work left to be done.
The college basketball postseason is one of the most exciting times of any sports season, and the conference tournaments get it all started. So here's a look at 10 major-conference sleepers or under-the-radar programs that might be poised for a deep or surprising run in their respective tournaments.
The Crimson Tide are an NCAA Tournament bubble team at the moment, so a nice run during the SEC Tournament would reinforce their case. Alabama already has wins over Kentucky, Mississippi and Mississippi State, so it should not be intimidated by anyone. Plus, the Tide have an impressive one-two scoring punch in Kira Lewis Jr. and Donta Hall. Don't forget: It's also easy to get motivated to play for coach Avery Johnson, meaning Alabama is certainly a team to watch in the postseason.
It looked as if the Bears would be in trouble when big man Tristan Clark suffered a season-ending knee injury in early January. However, Baylor is 10-4 minus Clark, with wins over ranked Texas Tech and Iowa State. The Bears overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Texas in overtime this week, so it's possible they can be a factor in the Big 12 Tournament — especially, if 6-foot-7 swingman Mario Kegler stays hot.
Alabama product Quinnen Williams is almost certainly going to be selected in the first five picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. However, this week the defensive tackle won’t do the bench press at the combine due to a finger injury that will require surgery afterward.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared this news on Wednesday afternoon.
In no way should this negatively affect Williams’ draft stock. His power on the gridiron is well-documented.
The former Alabama star could potentially be selected as high as No. 1 or No. 2 overall if the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers stand pat and don’t trade down.
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Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won't be sneaking up on anyone this year.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has opened odds on the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner with Tagovailoa as the favorite at +250, followed by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at 3-1. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Adrian Martinez (Nebraska) are tied for the next-best odds at 6-1, followed by Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor at 15-1.
"It was close between Tua and Lawrence," Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at The SuperBook, told ESPN. "But we felt Tua wants to finish what he should have won last year."
Last year, Tagovailoa opened as the third favorite at 10-1 odds to win the Heisman at the SuperBook. He became the favorite in August before Nick Saban even declared him the starter, and after an incredible season was as high as a -750 favorite at some New Jersey sportsbooks heading into the SEC championship game.
But an impressive performance by Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (opened 20-1) in the Big 12 title game helped him capture the Heisman.
Happy Monday, everyone. It was a successful weekend on the diamond, as the women swept five games and the men took two of three. Unfortunately the struggling Gym Tide dropped another meet, this time in Lexington. It seems likely that they miss the Super Six team finals for the second consecutive season after making it in 23 of the preceding 25.
Men’s basketball got an important win against a winless Vandy squad and now has a four game season to determine its postseason fate. The women’s team is likely headed nowhere with a 12-15 mark following a senior night loss to Georgia.
Cecil Hurt chimed in on Alabama football’s trend toward home and home scheduling.
Whether the trip to West Virginia has anything to do with the fact that Nick Saban will turn 75 during the 2026 season, and might like a sentimental trip to his home town (Monongah, where Saban grew up and played high school football, is about 25 miles southwest of Morgantown), isn’t certain. You can read between the lines but the distance from today until 2026 is so great that I couldn’t even read the lines, much less between them.
Alabama has three neutral site games left over the next three years, starting with this year’s opener against Duke in Atlanta. Whether the market for such games is saturated or not remains to be seen.
The Alabama baseball team improved to 5-2 on the season by taking two out of three games from Ball State over the weekend. The teams dodged bad weather to fit the three games in. The Tide won on Friday night 7-1 behind excellent pitching from Sam Finnerty and four runs driven in by Keith Holcombe. Saturday’s game made it to the bottom of the seventh before the rain hit and forced the game to be finished on Sunday morning. Ball State won that game 8-5, and then Bama bounced back to take the series with a 6-0 win on Sunday afternoon. Ball State fell 2-5 in the early stages of the season.
Game One: Won 7-1
In a game scheduled for 3 p.m., then moved to 1 p.m, first pitch eventually happened at 5 p.m. as the staff did their best to dodge the expected bad weather.
Sam Finnerty has established himself as a Friday night stalwart for the Tide over the last two seasons. The senior right hander pitched the best game of his Alabama career. Finnerty was in control from the beginning, retiring the Cardinals on four pitches in the top of the first. The Tide scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first. Jeaux Breaux led off by being hit by a pitch, followed by a single by Brett Auerebach. After two straight strikeouts, Keith Holcombe lined an RBI single to score Breaux. Freshman first baseman Drew Williamson then singled in two runs for an early 3-0 lead.
Finnerty gave up a seeing eye single in the second, but the runner was quickly erased on a slick double play started by shortstop Kolby Robinson. Finnerty allowed a bunt single in the third, but the runner couldn't advance. The Tide busted the game open in the fifth when Holcombe drilled a three run bomb into the visitors’ bullpen in right center field for his second long ball of the season.
After a pair of road tournaments in Troy and Tuscon, the Crimson Tide finally returned home to Rhoads Stadium for the opening weekend in the Annual Easton Bama Bash - and what a bash it was.
Alabama 11 Missouri State 1 (5 Inn.) - The Tide run-ruled the Bears behind the big bats of Bailey Hemphill, Caroline Hardy, and Merris Schroder each of whom went yard. KB Sides was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Sarah Cornell got her fourth win.
Alabama 1 Minnesota 0 - The Gophers came into the weekend newly ranked at #24 and will most likely drop out of the rankings this week after the Tide took two from them. However, the Minnies did win their other three games in Tuscaloosa. This one was a tight game with two aces going toe-to-toe and no score going into the bottom of the seventh. Claire Jenkins singled, was sacrificed to second, and scored on a two-out single by the number nine hitter Elissa Brown for the walk-off victory. Montana Fouts (5-0) pitched a two-hit shutout and (gasp!) yielded her first two walks of the season.
Alabama 7 Missouri State 5 - This was a wild one. There were rain delays, a bunch of hits, and one big stolen hit. Skylar Wallace hit a rare inside the park home run. Elissa Brown came to play as she took a 2-run home run away from the Bears and also went 3-for-3. Krystal Goodman (3-0) struggled, giving up four earned runs over 5.2 innings but got the win. Sarah Cornell got the save with a scoreless 3-up/3-down seventh.
Alabama 7 Minnesota 2 (5 Inn., weather shortened) - In Saturday’s nightcap, Alabama scored seven runs in the fifth on a two-run single by KB Sides, a three run homer by Bailey Hemphill, and a two RBI dinger from Reagan Dykes. The beginning of the game was delayed an hour and a half, and then hammered the two teams after the fifth inning concluded. Nobody needed the presence of James Spann to realize it wasn’t stopping any time soon. Fouts rang up win number six on seven Ks and one base-on-balls.
One of the NFL Draft’s top defensive back prospects will be sidelined for a while. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that Alabama safety Deionte Thompson had surgery on Friday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist.
Unsurprisingly, it’s unlikely that Thompson will be able to participate in the NFL Scouring Combine, which takes place next week. Fortunately, Rapoport says the safety isn’t facing any long-term issues stemming from the injury.
Along with Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram and Delaware’s Nasir Adderley, Thompson was considered to be one of the top safety prospects in the upcoming draft. The 22-year-old had a hot start to the 2018 campaign, with some pundits giving the safety a first-round projection. However, a rough second half of the season hurt his draft stock, and this most recent surgery could bump him back even further. While Thompson has the ability to be a starting-caliber NFL player, he may not be selected until the third day of the draft.
During his first full season as a starter, the six-foot-two, 196-pound senior finished with 79 tackles, six passes defended, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. He had primarily served as a backup during his sophomore and junior seasons at Alabama.