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Alabama beat number 1 seeded North Carolina: Plays Clemson next

Alabama is back in the elite 8 after dispatching the University of North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. The University of Alabama men's basketball team is known for its scoring and score they did on Thursday night scoring 89 points to edge out UNC by two points to advance in the tournament. In their last ten games Alabama has averaged 90.7 points per game including a 109-point performance last week in the NCAA tournament.

Team leader Mark Sears is averaging 21.4 points per game for the Tide. Sears contributed 18 points and 2 rebounds to the Tide on Thursday. Grant Nelson scored 24 points for Alabama and had 12 rebounds in a stellar performance against UNC. Nelson played incredible basketball in the second half where he scored 19 points. Rylan Griffen added 19 points and 4 rebounds. Estrada also had 19 points while collecting 4 rebounds.

There were 12 lead changes in the back-and-forth game between the two evenly matched teams.

"They didn't hit that many threes, but we stuck with our game plan," said Alabama head Coach Nate Oats. "Our word has been "next," this whole tournament - next play, next shot. We stuck with that. We made adjustments, and these guys just kept making plays."

Athletics Director Greg Byrne extended Oats' contract prior to the NCAA tournament making him one of the highest paid college basketball coaches in the country.

Alabama will play the Clemson Tigers next. This is the second time in the history of the program that Alabama has advanced to the elite 8. The 2003/2004 team coached by Mark Godfrey was the other.

Clemson is 24 and 11 overall and 11 and 10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Alabama is 24 and 11 overall and 13 and 6 in the Southeastern Conference.

Clemson averages 77.2 points per game and has outscored its opponents by six and a half points per game.

Alabama has never been to the Final Four.

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