Alabama Nearly Beats Minnesota Despite Having Three Players

Alabama basketball finish with just three players after entire bench ejected

"That was one of the most freaky things I've ever been a part of", Jordan Murphy said after he scored 19 points and and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead No. 14 Minnesota to an 89-84 victory over No. 25 Alabama, which finished the game with just three players, in the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic on Saturday.

Midway through the second half, after Minnesota's Nate Mason crossed over Alabama's Collin Sexton, making him fall before burying a three, the two starting jawing and earned double-technicals. Mason then received another, and head coach Richard Pitino received a technical foul as well.

That was only the beginning.

Alabama's full bench of seven players was ejected after entering the court during a scuffle, leaving them with just the five who were already on court.

Soon after Alabama had taken four consecutive free throws due to the string of Minnesota technical fouls, Dupree McBrayer and Dazon Ingram got tangled up underneath, commencing a shoving match between both teams.

After one player fouled out and another injured his ankle, Alabama was left with just three players to finish out the final ten minutes of the game.

Collin Sexton had 38 points for the Tide, going 12-for-22 from the field and putting on a show.

Although Alabama's valiant effort still ended up in an 84-89 loss to the Golden Gophers, the game is likely to go down in NCAA basketball history. Each team may continue to play with fewer than five players when all other team members are not eligible or able to play.

"I was easier when it was 5-on-4", Pitino said. In theory, Minnesota could have gone four on five and assigned a big to protect its own basket and prevent fast breaks.

Remarkably, Alabama got to within three points and had the ball, but missed a shot from within the arc.

For what it was worth, the officials declined comment through a pool reporter on what it was actually like to officiate five-on-three basketball.

"We didn't give up", Johnson said.

Watching the two coaches straight-face their way through their press conferences was certainly not the ending this game deserved, but was probably the one it needed. He spoke for the masses.



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