Alabama basketball: An early, disappointing exit from the NIT — again

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at Alabama’s early exit from the NIT and some free agency signings. 

The Alabama basketball team’s postseason came to an abrupt end with a bad loss to Richmond at home in the first round of the NIT. In two seasons of Avery Johnson’s coaching, Alabama’s exited in the first round of the tournament twice, both in rather brutal and lifeless games at home. Alabama entered the game as an eight-point favorite and had a 76 percent chance of winning according to KenPom. It was a bad loss and all-too reminiscent of many late-season Alabama performances in the last decade. Alabama closes its season at 19-15 and looks ahead to a brighter future, probably.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

Eddie Lacy finally found a home in Seattle, signing with the Seahawks for one year. With his running style, which Pete Carroll said made him a “big back in the classic fashion,” Lacy will draw inevitable comparisons to Marshawn Lynch. But Lacy will have to stay fit if he hopes to reach those levels of production. Of course, he follows in the footsteps of another Alabama running back turned Seahawk: Shaun Alexander.

Andre Smith re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, his home for seven seasons prior to signing with the Vikings last year. Smith has made 77 starts in the NFL, and at 30 years old, is fighting a recent spate of injuries to prolong his career.

In the golf world, Robby Shelton is starting to make some professional noise after breaking Justin Thomas’ school win record at Alabama and landing a national championship ring along the way. He’s been awarded a sponsor’s exemption into the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week at Bay Hill.

In the coaching ranks, keep an eye on Mike Davis, whose Texas Southern team is looking to become the first 16 seed to ever upset a top seed in the NCAA Tournament when it takes on UNC on Friday.

Around the Capstone

Alexis Osorio, Alabama’s ace softball pitcher, hasn’t given up a run in 35 innings. While Osorio dominates from the pitcher’s circle, senior Chandler Dare marshals the outfield and terrorizes with her speed on the base paths.

The baseball team is gaining confidence, posting its first shutout of the season to beat a terrible Eastern Illinois team at home on Tuesday and improve to 10-6 on the season.

The women’s swim team is headed to the national championships with five swimmers set to compete this weekend. Women’s tennis is ranked No. 44 nationally. Kiana Winston was named the SEC Gymnastics Specialist of the Week, thanks to her 9.975 score on balance beam.

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