Four days of magic. Four days of nonstop basketball. The first and second round of the NCAA tournament are some of the most intense and interesting days in all of sport.
So many memories. So many games. And Alabama was at home.
The crowds at the BJCC were cheering for other teams.
When Alabama fans express dismay over the direction of the basketball program, they arenâ€™t setting unrealistic expectations. They simply want our teams to hit the floor at the Big Dance.
The program has seemed listless over the last few years. Even our leaders arenâ€™t sure what the goals for our program should be. If Mal or Mark or Dr. Witt are interested in what goals our program should have, here goes:
1. I expect to make the NCAA tournament most seasons. (There is simply no excuse for making the tournament only five out of 10 seasons. At worst, 8 out of 10 should be our standard.)
2. I expect Alabama to win the SEC tournament championship once every four years. At worst, the team should make regular appearances in the conference championship game. A regular season crown would also be nice.
3. I expect Alabama to make the Sweet Sixteen.
4. Iâ€™d like to make the Final Four at least once a decade.
5. Our team should play hard all the time; we should be intense on defense.
Those arenâ€™t unreasonable goals for our program. If anything, they are probably not high enough.
Gottfriedâ€™s in trouble not because of his record. Heâ€™s in trouble because he canâ€™t connect with Alabama fans. Most fans like him and are willing to overlook his failures. The fans who are concerned about basketball are frustrated by his aloof personality. He comes across as dispassionate, and unconcerned about Alabamaâ€™s skid.
Mark, you arenâ€™t doing Alabama a favor by coaching here. The sooner you realize that, the better off youâ€™ll be.
Explain to fans that you are as frustrated by the Tideâ€™s failures as they are.
Feel our pain.
The sense of entitlement which comes across from your press conferences and interviews is puzzling. You donâ€™t seem to care. You donâ€™t seem mad.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but you arenâ€™t Wimp Sanderson. We knew losing made him angry. But you seem content to collect your million dollar salary.
Alabama fans are forgiving. We want you to succeed. But we need to know you care as much as we do.