(8) Alabama 70

(19-12, 8-8 SEC)

(1) Stanford 67

(30-2, 17-1 Pac-12)

    5:40 PM ET, March 20, 2004

    KeyArena, Seattle, Washington

    1 2 T
    #8ALA 37 3370
    #1STAN 39 2867

    Late 16-0 run keys Alabama upset

    SEATTLE (AP) -- This time, there was no fantastic finish for Stanford.

    Dan Grunfeld missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Cardinal became the first No. 1 seed to exit the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, upset by Alabama 70-67.

    Kennedy Winston scored 21 points and eighth-seeded Alabama shot 10-of-14 from the free throw line in the final minute.

    Dick Vitale's Tourney Take
    Give loads of credit to Alabama for coming back from a 13-point deficit, thanks in large part to a 15-0 run in the second half. The Crimson Tide did a terrific job down the stretch after Antoine Pettway hit a big 3-pointer to sway the momentum. The Tide's dominant performance from the free-throw line in the final minutes was a deciding factor as well, and Mark Gottfried's kids certainly deserve to celebrate the sweetness of advancing to the round of 16. There was some debate near the end of the season about whether Alabama would even make the field of 65 with an 8-8 record in the SEC, but they have proven that the SEC is one of the best conferences in the nation this year. And with Stanford, Arizona and Washington bowing out before the Sweet 16, the opinion of many that the Pac-10 was not a premier league has proven true. But give Mike Montgomery and his Cardinal team a tip of the cap for an excellent year.

    More on Saturday's Games
    Matt Lottich hit a 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds remaining to pull the Cardinal to 70-67 and Alabama's Earnest Shelton missed two free throws at the other end to give Stanford a last shot.

    Twice earlier this season, Stanford (30-2) stayed unbeaten with wild shots at the buzzer, including one that brought alum Tiger Woods running onto the home court.

    Stanford's loss came two weeks to the day that the Cardinal sustained their only regular-season setback, a 75-62 defeat at Washington -- just a few miles from the site of this stunner.

    It looked like the Cardinal wouldn't need a last-second shot to beat Alabama after taking a 53-40 with 7:40 left.

    But the Crimson Tide rallied with a 16-0 run.

    The Tide (19-13) advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1991, and Alabama will play next week in Phoenix against Syracuse.

    Alabama's players raced onto the court to celebrate, with Brock Davis falling to the floor and Antoine Pettway mugging for the first television camera he came across.

    The second round has been rough on Stanford recently, with the Cardinal (30-2) losing at this point for the fifth time in the last six years.

    Stanford was a No. 1 seed in 2000, losing to No. 8 North Carolina. Earlier in the day in Seattle, Nevada stunned No. 2 Gonzaga.

    Pac-10 player of the year Josh Childress scored 12 points, but he fouled out with 3:18 to play and watched the final minutes standing at the end of the Stanford bench.

    Childress' last two fouls came seconds apart.

    He banked in an 8-footer but it was waved off after he was called for an offensive foul. Seconds later he was whistled for a hold at the other end, and Tide fans were on their feet cheering.

    Shelton scored 14 points for Alabama, while Chuck Davis and Pettway each added 12.

    The Tide made a stunning turnaround after a listless first 10 minutes of the second half. Alabama missed 16 of its first 17 field goal attempts after the break.

    Stanford took advantage, using a 12-2 run to build a 51-39 lead after Childress hit a jumper with 11:20 remaining.

    Alabama slowly woke up, though. Shelton hit a 3-pointer, pulling the Tide to 53-48 with 5:59 to play, and it was 53-50 after Evan Brock's two free throws with 5:18 to go.

    The Tide kept coming, too. Davis made both free throws in a one-and-one situation, and Pettway hit a 3-pointer with 4:04 to play, giving the Tide a 55-53 lead.

    With 13.5 seconds on the clock, Alabama fans started chanting "overrated."

    The Tide players weren't intimidated, and they showed in the first half they had the athleticism to compete with Stanford.

    "They weren't overrated. We were underrated," read a sign in the Alabama locker room.

    Stanford led 39-37 at the break, aided by a 20-10 rebounding advantage that included 10 on the offensive end. But Alabama shot 52 percent from the floor and 14-of-18 from the line to keep things close.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press



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