Collin Sexton Reveals How He Almost Cost Richard Pitino His Job After Iconic 3v5 NCAA Basketball Game Against Minnesota

BleedGopher

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per Aaron:

Over the years, NCAA basketball has provided a lot of crazy games. But none of them come close to the Alabama Crimson Tide’s game against the Minnesota Gophers from 2017. It was nothing like anyone had seen before.

Collin Sexton, the star from that Crimson Tide team, recently appeared on the JJ Redick podcast. With college basketball currently trending, the first question was about the 2017 Crimson Tide vs Gophers game. Sexton and co played 3v5 in the second half, and came close to actually winning it but just fell short. However, had they won the game, Sexton believes there would have been consequences.

He said, “It’s hard to make wide-open jump shots when everyone’s looking at you. So they couldn’t hit any shots and their coach was so frustrated. I got to see him at an EYBL event and he was giving me a hard time. He was like you almost cost me a job. That was a moment I’m going to remember.”

During the podcast, Sexton spoke about how things were getting chirpy between the players right from warmups. And that escalated to an on-court fight between the teams in the second half of the game.

The Crimson Tide bench stepped onto the court and got an automatic ejection. So they didn’t have any substitutions for the rest of the game. To make matters worse, Dazon Ingram had to leave after getting fouled out, followed by John Petty who injured his ankle and wasn’t able to continue. So the Crimson Tide were officially playing three players against five players.



Go Gophers!!
 

Batc0017

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And we didn’t almost lose. Alabama never touched the ball down 1 possession, tied, or with the lead after a the ejections

Literally never had a chance to tie and people say almost lost.
"Literally never had a chance"? I get they didn't pull it off, but to be down 1 possession with a minute to go with the way Sexton was shooting (and the bricks we were throwing up) I'd say they definitely had a chance.
 

Some guy

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Did Collin remember the part when Nate broke his ankles...stared him down...and nailed a three? I attended the game and that was a cold blooded move.
Not sure what Mason said but I don’t think he should’ve been ejected for looking at him.
 

USAF

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Most overrated comeback in history caused by a desire to not embarrass Alabama and likely some poor coaching by Richard. However if he lost that game, considering how that season finished, he may have been let go but we will never know.
And we didn’t almost lose. Alabama never touched the ball down 1 possession, tied, or with the lead after a the ejections

Literally never had a chance to tie and people say almost lost.
Yes, what an overrated "comeback."

Clearly the Gophers, playing 5 on 3, were well in control of the game. Another incredible Pitiino coaching job.

LOL.
 

GopherBlood666

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Yes, what an overrated "comeback."

Clearly the Gophers, playing 5 on 3, were well in control of the game. Another incredible Pitiino coaching job.

LOL.
It was overrated AF. The Gophers had control of the game before Alabama was kicked off the floor, and were in well in control when bama was down to only 5 and 4 players left. Once it went 3 vs 5, you could tell the gophers started playing visibly different. At that point, as I stated there was likely some poor coaching on Richard's part for not getting his team in the right mindset to finish the game. The Gophers just started taking uncontested jump shots they kept missing and sexton kept taking constested 3's he was making. Turning it into more than just a weird finish to a game is completely overblown, IMO. A comeback that never was is exactly that. Not a comeback at all.
 

howeda7

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Yes, what an overrated "comeback."

Clearly the Gophers, playing 5 on 3, were well in control of the game. Another incredible Pitiino coaching job.

LOL.
At any point they could have had one guy stay back under the basket and gotten free lay-ups on every Alabama miss. They were trying to get it over with without another fight/suspensions.
 

Spaulding!No!

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I recall that it was consider Pitino’s fault that we couldn’t utilize the 5-3 into a big lead. Now it simply seems pretty standard for richie.
 

MRJ

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One of the worst displays of coaching I still have ever seen in any sport at any level. As I've said before, this was the game where I really soured on Pitino. Even in getting the win, it was an embarrassing display of ineptitude and execution by both Richard and his players that ultimately set the tone for how his tenure ended up imo.
 

Cayman

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This game didn't bother me. It was a weird situation that almost never happens and no one prepares for. Had the feel of a drunk 21 year old woman with two black eyes and a broken nose who challenges you to a fight at a bar. Do you merely try to restrain her enough to avoid her severely hurting you or herself? Maybe she lands a couple of punches on you because she's giving it everything she's got, and you aren't, because on a subconscious level you feel you shouldn't. Or do you just beat the shit out of her, no holding back, treating her as an evenly matched opponent even though she clearly isn't? Weren't Alabama's remaining players literally sipping oxygen during timeouts to maintain enough energy to keep playing?

Seems sort of similar to those games that so frequently happen in non-conference play, where a power conference team is beating a low-major by 20 at halftime, and then still only wins by 20, or maybe only 16 or 17 at the end of the game. Is it poor coaching or execution when you have a clearly established advantage, and indeed go on to win the game, but do not expand the lead that you had already built up?
 

Some guy

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"Literally never had a chance"? I get they didn't pull it off, but to be down 1 possession with a minute to go with the way Sexton was shooting (and the bricks we were throwing up) I'd say they definitely had a chance.
They were never in possession of the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.
 

bizzle22

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They were never in possession of the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.
With a little over a minute to go Alabama had the ball and the score was 83-80. They didn’t take a three on that possession so maybe that is what you mean, but they did have possession of the ball with a chance to tie. It’s right in the highlights someone posted earlier.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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At any point they could have had one guy stay back under the basket and gotten free lay-ups on every Alabama miss. They were trying to get it over with without another fight/suspensions.

This was really what happened. Pitino probably should have pressed the issue a bit earlier, but this was not a real comeback.
 

Some guy

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With a little over a minute to go Alabama had the ball and the score was 83-80. They didn’t take a three on that possession so maybe that is what you mean, but they did have possession of the ball with a chance to tie. It’s right in the highlights someone posted earlier.
I am wrong. They did have one possession down one possession or tied
Doesn’t really change my point.
this wasn’t close to a loss


in the entire game, Alabama had two possessions when the game was tied or they were down 3 or less. This includes the opening tip of the game.
 

GoGophersUMN

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Even if the Gophers lost, Pitino's job wouldn't have been at risk. The Gophers were a top 15 team, they were playing a top 25 team, and 5 on 3 isn't a situation that basketball coaches ever prepare for. It would have been embarrassing but the odds of Pitino getting fired would have been 0%.
 
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