Mailbag: Alabama fans riff on Final Four bid, how UConn can be beaten, and more | Goodbread

Alabama basketball has reached the Final Four. Yes, you read that right. A program that had only once before reached the Elite Eight has navigated March Madness with four consecutive NCAA Tournament wins to put itself on the brink of its first national championship. It's done so with a remarkable turnaround, as it entered the tourney on a 2-4 slide over its previous six games. The task now at hand: toppling the defending champs, UConn, which is the No. 1 overall seed and has blown through its four tournament opponents with ease, beating them all by 17 points or more. Crimson Tide fans have thoughts ... onto the mailbag!

Drew from Overland Park, Kan,. writes: A Nate Oats offensive scheme is capable of beating any team. Very similar to the 73-win Golden State Warriors because of the scoring talent. It will take career games from everyone in the front court. Early foul trouble to Grant Nelson and/or Nick Pringle will be impossible to overcome. Pace of play will be huge if the Tide can make (Purdue's Zach) Edey run baseline to baseline. Look at what Wisconsin did in the Big Ten tournament.

Hey Drew: So you're picking Alabama over UConn on Saturday and a rematch with Purdue in the title game on Monday? That's some confidence. Bold call. Nate Oats would like nothing more than to get one more crack at Edey, who scored 35 on Alabama in a 92-86 Purdue win in December.

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Ross from Paris, Texas writes: Upsets are what make this tournament fun (excluding UNLV/Duke 1991 … still hate Duke). If we have more threes than turnovers and UConn plays a B- game, we have a shot. This has been an overachieving group from my perspective and making it to the Final Four is already two wins beyond my preseason expectations. Let’s just win a couple of more.

Hey Ross: If you already hated Duke before Duke-Kentucky '92, I'm guessing you've got an old "I Hate Christian Laettner" shirt in a box in your attic.

Hollywood in Huntsville writes: I’m gonna skip ahead after Bama beats UConn in a track meet where Bama hits a buzzer beater for a stunning upset. I wanna know your thoughts on how could the Tide deal with Purdue’s behemoth at center. I felt this season the teams that gave us the most problems were the ones that controlled the post. And this puts Coach Nate ahead of Wimp as greatest in Tide history. This seals it.

Hey Hollywood: Another lookahead to Purdue! Optimists in the inbox for sure. The aforementioned 7-foot-4 Zach Edey is basically unstoppable. In theory you'd like to get him in foul trouble, but the guy hasn't fouled out all season. He's only been whistled for four fouls four times in 37 games. Guard him with one man, he'll dominate. Double-team him, he can find the open man. Figuring out how to slow down a guy like Edey is what Oats gets paid $4.5 mil for.

Barry from Brunswick, Ga. writes: This Alabama team can be competitive against any team in the tournament. They have the ability to beat any team in the Final Four. They already knocked off another No. 1 seed. UConn will be challenging but with focus and consistent play, it can be done. I didn't expect much from this team. Especially as the season began, but they have found a rhythm in this tournament. A two-game winning streak is all that is required now.

Hey Barry: I don't think UConn is unbeatable either, but it'll take two halves of red-shot shooting, not one, which was enough to get past Clemson.

Ben from Huntsville writes: Watching the roster wave goodbye, then watching the coaching staff depart, my goals for the season included learning the names of the players by the second game and trying to understand coach Oats' analytics. Basketball and football final fours in the same year? Can't fit my head through the door, man!

Hey Ben: Offseason rebuilding has become an Oats specialty. The transfer portal decimates rosters in basketball like no other sport.

Alex from Florence writes: An Alabama win will be difficult, but I believe there is a path. 1) Limit turnovers — Ending possessions without taking an opportunity to score is backbreaking. 2) Push the pace — Per KenPom Alabama plays at the 9th highest adjusted pace, while UConn is at 315. 3) Shoot well — Simple, but required. Teams that beat UConn shot 52% from the field, 52% from three, and 74% from the line.

Hey Alex: Your path sounds like one that Latrell Wrightsell, who is being evaluated daily with a head injury, could contribute to. He takes care of the ball, he's a highly accurate shooter, and he can get up and down the floor. As of now, it looks like he's got a good chance to play. If he's a healthy go, UA could use as many minutes as he can provide.

Tuscaloosa News columnist Chase Goodbread is also the weekly co-host of Crimson Cover TV on WVUA-23. Reach him at Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread.

Tuscaloosa News sport columnist Chase Goodbread.
Tuscaloosa News sport columnist Chase Goodbread.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama fans riff on Final Four bid, how UConn can be beaten, and more