Tide finishes season undefeated at home

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Jason Galloway

After the Alabama basketball team’s 65-57 victory over Georgia on Saturday, the Crimson Tide players congregated at midcourt in Coleman Coliseum and began a dance-off.

The Jumbotron captured the players pulling off all kinds of dance moves, celebrating their perfect 16-0 record at home this season. After finishing a television post-game interview, head coach Anthony Grant took a microphone and addressed the sold-out crowd, thanking them for their support throughout the season.

“Our fans have been tremendous,” Grant said after the game. “We wouldn’t be where we are at right now without the support and the enthusiasm that is in this building. I can tell you even [Saturday] there were times when the energy was provided by the fans, and that’s been the case all season for us.”

It was the 16th time in school history the Tide has finished the season perfect at home, but it was the first time Alabama has accomplished the feat since the 2001-02 season.

The atmosphere in Coleman has done more than just make it a tough place for opponents to play. Big-time recruits Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper – both already committed to Alabama – stood right beside the dance-off at midcourt after Saturday’s game.

“I can’t tell you how much it means in terms of what we’re trying to build and the program we want to establish here,” Grant said. “The environment that’s been created in here is tremendous – our students, our supporters, everybody. It starts with the support we get from everyone and I couldn’t be prouder, couldn’t be happier.”

Before Saturday, some had questioned Alabama’s strength of schedule at home. The argument was that the only difficult game for the Tide in Coleman was Kentucky in early January, a team that has struggled on the road this season. But Saturday’s win against Georgia added another win against an NCAA-tournament caliber team.

“It was a huge win,” junior forward JaMychal Green said. “To finish out the season undefeated at home is always a good feeling.”

Saturday was extra special for four Tide players, as the team’s seniors got to finish their careers with 17 straight home victories dating back to last season. Especially for senior Charvez Davis, who shot 5-of-10 from three-point range after struggling in the Tide’s past two games.

“It feels great,” Davis said. “I wanted to end it like this on a good note, so I’m proud of myself for that. I have to give my team credit because they were looking out for me and kept believing in me, so I take my hat off to them.”

Senior Chris Hines, who received a loud standing ovation after fouling out near the end of the game, said, “It was the last home game and we have been undefeated at home, so to go out like that was a blast. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”