But who cares? The result of the early-season contest will only matter months from now when the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee starts tabulating quality wins and losses should both squads be up for a bid in the The Big Dance. However, how it all unfolded, especially the last 10-plus minutes of the game, is immediately (and likely eternally) important in college basketball lore.
The Crimson Tide was trailing by nine when Ingram picked up his fifth personal foul while trying to wrestle away a rebound from Minnesota’s Reggie Lynch, sending him to the bench. Just like that Alabama was down to four players.
Scheduled during the thick of college football’s rivalry week action, most Alabama fans, if they’re not fronting and keeping eight more than 92 with you, only heard wind of the Crimson Tide’s precarious predicament on the hardwood via their social media feeds. Preoccupied with watching the No. 1 Crimson Tide implode late against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Alabama’s basketball team, ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2011, was putting up a more valiant fight 1,000 miles away.
Mason and Sexton were hit with double technical fouls on the Gophers’ next offensive possession after Mason committed a turnover, dribbling the ball out of bounds. Sexton said something slick to Mason as Alabama was preparing to inbound the ball, Mason retorted and the two began jawing at each other.