It's been a wacky NCAA Tournament through the first two rounds, with multiple double-digit seeds earning spots in this year's Sweet 16. However, No. 2 Alabama proved why they earned one of the best overall squads in the Big Dance with their performance on Monday night.
The Crimson Tide squared off against No. 10 Maryland in a second-round match-up from the East quarter of the bracket. The SEC Tournament champs started out hot on offense, scoring 46 points in the first half, but struggled to slow down the Terrapins, carrying just an eight-point lead into the half-time locker room.
Whatever Nate Oats told his team during the intermission made a major impact at the start of the second half.
Alabama came out on fire, going on a 19-4 run in the first five minutes of the half. The Crimson Tide were especially potent from beyond-the-arc where they hovered around 50 percent for much of the ballgame. During the hot stretch to start the second half, Alabama also broke the program record for most three-pointers made in a single season.
In what's been an day for offense in college basketball, the Crimson Tide might've put together the most impressive display.
After the run to start the second half, the Crimson Tide kept their foot on the gas, continuing to hold about a 20-point lead. It's safe to say that Alabama's ticket has been punched to the Sweet 16.
Monday's showing is a welcome performance for Nate Oats and his team after they struggled to separate from Rick Pitino's No. 15 Iona group on Saturday. Alabama will be carrying some major momentum headed into next week's match-up against No. 11 UCLA.
The Crimson Tide will join Arkansas as the second SEC team to make the Sweet 16 in this year's tournament. With a favorable slate in front of them, Alabama has the potential to make a much deeper run.