Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament 2024: Ranking the starting lineups of each Sweet 16 team

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against
Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Tristen Newton (2) grabs the ball against / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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12. Alabama (4-seed)

Aaron Estrada (Senior – Guard)

Twice named CAA Player of the Year, Estrada played at Saint Peter’s, Oregon, and those two great seasons at Hofstra before landing at Alabama this season. Now in his final collegiate season, Estrada is a major contributor for the Crimson Tide, averaging 13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He’s a decent shooter, was among the SEC’s leaders in assists, and has had two great performances in the NCAA Tournament, including 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists against Charleston in the first round.

Rylan Griffen (Sophomore – Guard)

Joining the Crimson Tide last year as a highly-ranked recruit, Griffen has taken a major leap forward as a sophomore, averaging 11.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Making major strides across the board, Griffen has made 37% of his 3-pointers, has shot the ball better from all over the court, and makes a certain impact in this backcourt. He did just score 13 points against Grand Canyon in a crazy second round victory and is capable of much more in the days ahead.

Grant Nelson (Senior – Forward)

Another high-impact transfer, Nelson spent three seasons at North Dakota State before arriving in Tuscaloosa this past offseason. It’s been a good year for Nelson, who’s put up 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game against a much tougher SEC schedule than his time with the Bison. He’s put up solid numbers across the board, especially as a shot blocker, but has yet to have a major impact in the NCAA Tournament.

Mark Sears (Junior – Guard)

After great strides in two years at Ohio, Sears joined the Crimson Tide two seasons ago and has taken a major step forward in his senior season. Sears averages 21.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, becoming the impact player on a team that lost Brandon Miller after last year’s postseason run. Sitting as the SEC’s top scorer, Sears has topped 20 points in nearly every game since the start of January, including a 30-point effort against Charleston and 26 against Grand Canyon to begin this NCAA Tournament run.

Latrell Wrightstell (Senior – Guard)

A major force at Cal State Fullerton last season, this has been a decent transition for Wrightsell to Alabama, where he’s averaging 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in a lesser role with the Crimson Tide. He’s still making a certain impact, making 44% of his 3-pointers and a decent clip from all over the floor. Wrightsell scored 17 points against Charleston last week but left the game against Grand Canyon with a head injury and his status remains in question.