Tag Archives: Auburn

Did Harvey Updyke foreshadow his ill-fated trip to Alabama softball game?

By now you know Harvey Updyke wasn’t welcomed to Alabama’s SEC softball tournament game Friday. The boys in blue asked the father of Crimson Tyde Updyke to take a hike as Alabama beat Georgia 1-0.

School officials may have been tipped off to Updyke’s interest in attending if they monitored one popular Alabama fan website.

A poster on a TiderInsider.com message board named “Alfromdadeville,” inquired Thursday morning about the SEC softball tournament.

“If they win, what time do they play tomorrow,” the poster asked. He later checked on ticket prices for the SEC softball tournament played in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2004.

From TiderInsider.com (Click to enlarge)

Alabama, minus Updyke, will face Florida at noon today for the SEC crown. Tune into ESPN2 for all the action.

 


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Auburn has the momentum entering weekend baseball series

Series starts at 7 tonight in Tuscaloosa.

The two with a history of animosity enter today’s baseball series opener on different paths. Read about that here …

TUSCALOOSA — The first few months of SEC baseball made a mockery of preseason polls.

Auburn was supposed to finish last in the West Division and a third-place finish was penciled in for Alabama. Wrong and wrong, at least to this point in the spring.

The Tigers enter the 7 p.m. series opener in Tuscaloosa tied atop the West Division with LSU while the Crimson Tide went the opposite direction. A light-hitting lineup has Alabama (10-19, 1-8 SEC) last in the league facing its first losing season since 1994.

“We just about got dirt thrown on us in the grave, but at the same time, you’re at a point where a series win would certainly mean a lot to this club right now,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said.

Auburn, meanwhile, won its first three SEC series for the first time in nine seasons and climbed to No. 23 nationally. Wins in seven of the last 10 games gave the Tigers momentum that’s eluded the Tide all season.

Losses in 10 of the last 12 games can play with the psyche of a team with a young pitching staff. But the troubles were spread through all aspects of the team.

Click here for the complete dispatch.


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Updated: Win over Auburn drops Alabama’s RPI

Update: Alabama dropped a spot in the latest RPI projection despite not playing Thursday evening.

Florida State’s buzzer beater at Virginia moved it to No. 23 from No. 28. That pushed Alabama back to No. 28. Click here for the Yahoo Sports RPI projections.

It’s hardly significant in the grand scheme of things, but an interesting note, nonetheless.

Original post: A loss would have been worse, but a win over Auburn on Thursday didn’t help Alabama’s RPI rating.

The Crimson Tide dropped from No. 25 to No. 27 according to two unofficial calculations of the formula used by the NCAA tournament selection committee.

Click here for the Yahoo Sports version and here for the RealtimeRPI.com estimate.

The reason for the drop? Auburn’s RPI of 145 didn’t help Alabama’s strength of schedule. The Tide still have the 15th toughest path to the postseason, according to the computers.

The final game of the year is Saturday at Ole Miss, the No. 59 team in the RPI ratings.


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Anthony Grant’s ‘difference maker’ in Auburn win might surprise you

Nobody scored many points in Alabama’s 55-49 beating of Auburn last night. One particular light-scoring Crimson Tide guard earned special praise from coach Anthony Grant.

Reserve junior Ben Eblen played 12 minutes, didn’t take a shot and had one free throw in a supporting role. But he did more than the stat sheet says.

“He could have been the difference in the game,” Grant said.

How is that?

“We were a little frustrated from an offensive standpoint with the way we were not having success offensively,” Grant said. “So I think Ben came in and he did a great job focusing on doing the things that we needed to do in the press from a defensive standpoint, attacking in terms of the tempo we wanted the game to played at.

“I thought he did a great job imposing his will on the game so to speak. He, to me, was huge tonight. He could have been the difference in the game.”

Eblen had one steal after entering the game with Auburn leading in the second half. The crowd was eager to see him shoot, but the junior hasn’t taken a shot since the road loss to LSU.

More on basketball later.


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The secret to winning ugly in hoops Iron Bowl

By now you should have recovered from watching that dizzying display of basketball performed in Coleman Coliseum. Now read how it all came together for the Crimson Tide in a big win over Auburn …

TUSCALOOSA — Shoot a season-low from the field and make just 14 shots wasn’t the plan.

Rodney Cooper (AP photo)

Allow your bitter rival to ugly it up in your own gym should spell disaster. But Alabama snuck one out Wednesday night in a nervous Coleman Coliseum.

It did so with free throws.

A sloppily played night ended with a 55-49 Alabama win over Auburn thanks in part to a 24-5 scoring advantage from the line. The Crimson Tide (20-9, 9-6 SEC) took its fifth straight against Auburn and fourth in a row to close February and all but assure a trip to the NCAA tournament.

The disjointed night of basketball saw the hosts shoot 32 free throws to the guests’ 12. That was enough to overcome shooting 31.1 percent from the field and one of Auburn’s best defensive games of the year.

“I didn’t know what we shot until the end of the game, to be honest with you,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “We were able to get in the bonus early in the second half and we were converting our free throws. It was evident there a few minutes into the second half that this was going to be a grind-it-out possession-type game.”

Leading the rhythm-less second half for the Tide was senior JaMychal Green. The Montgomery native scored 13 of his team-high 15 after halftime while making 7-of-10 free throws.

Green said the unsightly game was reminiscent of the 51-49 Alabama win over Auburn in Tuscaloosa last year. Green tipped in a shot at the buzzer to win that one and he had another crucial follow-up Wednesday night.

His tap-in with 37.0 seconds left Alabama ahead 51-47. Auburn (14-15, 4-11) never got any closer after missing two late 3s and Alabama made 4 of 6 free throws to seal it. The emotions of senior night played a factor early on, Grant said.

Click here for the entire story.


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Video of ‘Rammer Jammer’ after Alabama beats Auburn

The final score: Alabama 55, Auburn 49. This was the scene right after the game in Coleman Coliseum.


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The Iron Bowl trophy is here

Look what just arrived at Coleman Coliseum. It’s the Iron Bowl football trophy. It’ll be handed back to Alabama at halftime.

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Take a look at anti-Auburn signs on student seats

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Instead of waiting for the students to raid newsstands, the Crimson White went ahead and decorated Coleman Coliseum tonight.

It’s all in the rivalry game, you know.

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Fun with numbers: Alabama basketball edition

I can’t deny my love of numbers and statistics. Nevermind my deplorable history in math class. I can’t get enough. I’m a nerd.

So let’s take a look at some of the more entertaining figures as they relate to the Alabama basketball program with an assist from the media relations game notes. As you know, the Crimson Tide play host to Auburn at 7 tonight in Coleman Coliseum. Historically, that’s a good thing for Alabama.

The Tide is 43-8 against the long-time rivals when playing in Tuscaloosa. The record is 36-7 in Coleman Coliseum. On the road, Alabama is just 26-26 in games played in Auburn.

Alabama is 3-2 in games played on Wednesdays. Sunday, Monday and Friday are better for the Tide since Anthony Grant’s team is 5-0 when playing those days. Alabama doesn’t have a losing record on any single day of the week, but is 5-4 on Saturdays.

The fact that it’s still February is a decent omen for Alabama, too. The Tide is a combined 12-2 in the two bookend months of the season so far (November and February). December and January were not as kind. Alabama was 7-7 in the middle of the  season.

The bench has played a major role in the three-game Alabama winnings streak. The reserves have outscored its competition 113-37 in the past four games (23-0 against Florida, 20-6 over Tennessee, 38-17 over Arkansas, and 32-4 over Mississippi State. Alabama even found a way to outscore LSU’s bench Feb. 11 (9-8) when playing just eight players because of suspensions.

The four-game winning streak Alabama’s enjoyed against Auburn followed a stretch of four straight losses to the Tigers. The winning trend is the longest Alabama’s enjoyed in the rivalry since winning eight straight from 2003-06.

Of the last 10 Alabama-Auburn games played in Coleman Coliseum, seven were sellouts. Make it 8-for-11 after tonight’s game since all tickets were sold by yesterday.

I’ll update this if there’s time for more. I hope you enjoyed it.


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Alabama is big favorite to beat Auburn tonight

Given their records, and player personnel disparities, the Las Vegas line for tonight’s Alabama-Auburn basketball game can’t come as much surprise.

The Crimson Tide enters as a consensus 12.5-point favorite to beat the Tigers at 7 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum.

Click here for the line movement on VegasInsider.com.

The status of injured Alabama freshman Trevor Lacey is still unknown. Mystery still remains surrounding the suspensions of Auburn’s Varez Ward and Chris Denson. The return of either would certainly play a factor in this one.

 


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A video flashback to the day Saban referred to the ‘University of Auburn’

There doesn’t figure to be many empty seats in Coleman Coliseum tonight. Auburn comes to town for the basketball home finale, but some of the most anticipated action comes at halftime.

Since the Tide beat Auburn 42-14 on the football field this November, the Iron Bowl trophy will be handed back to Alabama tonight. The Auburn student president will sing “Yea Alabama” and there will likely be some jeering from the audience.

Take a look back at the scene from two years ago when Nick Saban and the football team accepted the trophy and made an unintentional comment that’s still bouncing around message boards. Notice the gasp when Saban refers to “the University of Auburn.”

 

In the spirit of equal time, here’s Auburn receiving the trophy last season. Gene Chizik took heat for using a certain word when saluting the crowd.

 


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Updating SEC basketball standings

The Alabama basketball team is all over the map this season. The four-game SEC losing streak was followed by a three straight wins. Last night’s 68-50 beating of Auburn was No. 3.

So, that means what in the SEC standings? Remember the divisions washed into the Gulf after last summer’s SEC meetings in Destin.

Click to enlarge.

Mississippi State would hold a slight lead if there was still a West Division. But there isn’t, so Alabama settles for fifth in the 12-team standings.

Of its final seven regular-season games, five involve teams below the Tide in the standings and four of the final six will be in Tuscaloosa. So stay tuned to see how this turns out.


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Game day atmosphere video from hostile Auburn Arena

This may be the first in the series from a basketball game this season. So check out the sights-and-sounds look inside Auburn Arena as the Tide took care of the Tigers, 68-50. Look closely and you can see one of the referees eject an Auburn student coming out of halftime.

 

One more video to follow in a bit. Stick around.


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The Alabama-Auburn basketball game story

In case you wanted to read the story that ran in today’s newspaper, here it is. Some video is coming soon. Stick around for that.

AUBURN — Call it a techni­cal knockout.

First came the technicals, then the knockout.

Riding the momentum of three first-half post-play whis­tles, Alabama seized control in what became a 68-50 rout at Au­burn.

The Tigers were called for three technical fouls in the opening 20 minutes as the Crim­son Tide turned a seven-point deficit into an 11-point halftime lead. It was only the Tigers’ sec­ond loss in an Auburn Arena that quickly turned hostile.

JaMychal Green’s 19 points paced the Tide, winners of three straight, in its first game with­out suspended Tony Mitchell. The Alabama bench outscored Auburn’s 28-9 with Charles Han­kerson leading the subs with 14. Frankie Sullivan was the only Tiger to reach double figures with 21 points.

Tension peaked after the third technical foul was called in the closing seconds of the half. Tiger coach Tony Barbee earned that one after Kenny Ga­briel and Chris Denson each got one for hanging on the rim after dunks.

Gabriel’s put Auburn up 14-7 with 11:44 left, but the 12-4 run Tide run gave Alabama its first and last lead of the game.

Denison’s technical, which sent the sold-out crowd of 8,154 even further into a frenzy, came with 2:16 left. Again, Alabama took advantage. The guests scored the final eight points of the half to take an 11-point to the intermission.

“There were some tough calls that went against us in the first half,” said Tiger Varez Ward, who scored three points and had six turnovers. “Things just went downhill from there.”

Click here to read the whole thing.


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Alabama pounds Auburn; Barbee not blaming refs

As it turns out, the 68-50 loss Alabama handed Auburn was historic. No Alabama team had ever come to Auburn and won by such a wide margin.

The game turned on three first half technical fouls called on the Tigers. But Auburn coach Tony Barbee, owner of the third, didn’t make any excuses. The first two came on slam dunks refs determined Auburn players did too much hanging on the rim.

““Guys have to protect themselves when their legs are out from under them so the referees made the right calls,” Barbee said. “It had nothing to do with officiating. We just did not play well.”

Tiger Varez Ward said “there were some tough calls” in the first half while blaming turnovers for the turn of events.

Trevor Releford, who made all six technical free throws, saw a difference after the whistles.

“That is a big intensity change for their team and I think I just had to step up and make those free throws and put our team in position to win.”

Read much more about this tomorrow.


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