Three in-state teams crowned conference champions, four total in the big dance

Samford Fans
Samford fans gathered in Homewood to watch the Selection Show with the basketball team Sunday. (The Bama Buzz)

It’s officially bracket season and the state of Alabama is already making its mark. Four teams from the state are in the field of 68 after an eventful championship week.

Samford clinched its spot Monday night. The Bulldogs already knew it would hear its name called during Sunday’s Selection Show after winning the Southern Conference Championship but it turns out, they started a trend of teams from Alabama to win conference tournaments this week.

Almost a week later, Auburn found itself in the SEC championship and the Tigers took down Florida to claim its first conference tournament title since 2019 and third in program history. In the final conference championship game of the day, UAB defeated Temple to win the AAC title in the program’s first season in the conference.

Jaylin Williams Auburn
Auburn’s Jaylin Williams is the program’s winningest player of all time which now includes an SEC Tournament title. (The Bama Buzz)

Those three championships gave the three teams automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament and they officially learned where they would be heading next when the bracket was announced Sunday evening.

Bulldogs get a blue blood

Fans gathered in Homewood Sunday afternoon to join the men’s basketball team to see where the Bulldogs would land in the NCAA Tournament for its first appearance since 2000.

Samford has been waiting nearly a week to find out who its next opponent will be. After about 20 minutes of waiting through the Selection Show, the Bulldogs finally heard their name called.

Samford received a #13 seed and will take on #4 Kansas, the second winningest program in college basketball history. The Bulldogs have never faced Kansas before but they are already becoming a popular upset pick for people’s brackets across the country.

Samford will get its tournament started Thursday in Salt Lake City. Tip off times are expected to be announced later Sunday night.

Samford Basketball
Samford’s basketball team is introduced during Sunday’s watch party in Homewood. (The Bama Buzz)

Taking over Spokane

While Samford’s trip to Utah may seem like a long way to go, the other three teams from the state will travel even further but will at least have some southern company with them.

Auburn was given a #4 seed after winning the SEC Championship and the Tigers will travel to Spokane, Washington to take on Yale. But they won’t alone up there.

UAB is in the same region as Auburn and would play against the Tigers if both teams win in the first round. The Blazers, who were given a #12 seed, will have to beat fifth-seeded San Diego State first.

Uab Bartow
UAB’s Bartow Arena during the 2023 NIT. (The Bama Buzz)

Alabama is across the bracket from those two teams but the Crimson Tide has also been sent to Spokane for the first two rounds of the tournament.

Nate Oats’ squad will also be a #4 seed and take on the College of Charleston in the first round Friday.

Ua Basketball
Coleman Coliseum at the University of Alabama. (Keilani Hamann)

The Bracket

The remainder of the bracket was released Sunday evening. UConn earned the No. 1 overall seed with Houston, Purdue and North Carolina receiving the other top spots. You can see the full updated bracket throughout the tournament on the NCAA website.

2024 Ncaa Men'S Tournament Bracket
Three in-state teams crowned conference champions, four total in the big dance 1

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Caleb Turrentine
Caleb Turrentine
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