That headline is not clickbait. The Alabama Crimson Tide had to play three guys for most of the second-half against Minnesota.
On Nov. 25, 2017, the weirdest college basketball ever took place. The Minnesota Golden Gophers got an 89-84 win over an Alabama Crimson Tide team that finished the contest with three players. Yeah, I don’t understand it either.
It all started with about 13 minutes left in the second half. The Alabama bench got into a scuffle where all seven guys rushed the court, which led to the ejection of those seven guys: Alex Reese, Donta Hall, Herbert Jones, Avery Johnson Jr., Daniel Giddens, Lawson Schaffer and Landon Fuller. Bama, at that point, was down to five guys, which was OK, I guess. You can play a basketball game with five players. It only got worse, though.
With 11-and-a-half minutes left, Dazon Ingram fouled out after committing his fifth personal. The Tide were down to four players and trailed 61-52 with 11:37 left. AND THEN IT GOT WORSE.
John Petty, a 6-5 freshman, left the game with an apparent ankle injury. And it was the first time an NCAA basketball game featured three players. Who made up that fantastic trio? None other than Collin Sexton, Riley Norris and Galin Smith. It continued to get weirder.
Minnesota, who played with five guys, nearly lost the game because Collin Sexton went Super Saiyan — at one point, the lead was as small as three. Three! Sexton was hitting shots from all over, and Alabama’s triangular defense gave the Gophers a slew of open jumpers that just didn’t fall.
Unfortunately, their luck ran out. The Crimson Tide fell to the nation’s 14th-best team 89-84. In all honesty, it was an incredible performance by those three guys on Alabama’s side. Most would’ve just forfeited, but they played hard for 12-consecutive minutes and even outscored the Gophers 30-22 over that span; Sexton had to get oxygen on the sideline because he was so gassed. He finished with 40.
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