No. 4 seed Alabama took down No. 1 seed North Carolina 89-87 to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in 20 years.

Every time North Carolina made a run, Alabama had an answer, defeating one of the nation’s best by putting together its best performance of the season.

Here are a few takeaways from the game.

  1. Turnover Trouble

Turnovers were a huge problem for the Crimson Tide on Thursday night. Alabama turned the ball over seven times in the first half, resulting in 13 points of turnovers in the first half and giving North Carolina a 54-46 lead at the half. Alabama’s lack of ball security did improve in the second half, leading to 10 turnovers in the game. Those turnovers resulted in 16 points for the Tar Heels.

  1. Carolina Couldn’t Miss

Going into the game, the concern for the Alabama defense was defending inside the paint. Alabama managed to slow down the Tar Heels inside the paint in the first half, but it opened up the three-point shot as a result. The open looks from the Alabama defense resulted in 10 first half three-pointers for North Carolina. In the second half, the Crimson Tide defense made adjustments and limited the Tar Heels to just two three-pointers in the second half.

  1. Griffen Hot From Deep

Due to Latrell Wrightsell, Jr. being out with a head injury, Alabama needed someone to step up and hit three-pointers. Rylan Griffen was that guy, going 4-for-5 from behind the arc for 15 points in the first half. Griffen cooled down in the second half, but his production was what Alabama needed as he finished the game with 19 points and five made three-pointers.

  1. Nelson Comes Up Clutch

Grant Nelson came up clutch down the stretch to help Alabama secure an Elite Eight appearance. In the first half, Nelson was limited to just five points, but he shined on the defensive end by pulling down six rebounds and helping to double-team North Carolina center Armando Bacot. In the second half, Nelson came to life on the offensive end. Anytime Alabama needed a clutch basket, Nelson was there to come through for the Crimson Tide. Nelson used his drives to the basket to get to the free throw line where he buried 10 of his 13 attempts, including one at the end of the game to ice it for Alabama. Pulling down 12 rebounds and scoring a game-high 24 points, Nelson recorded a double-double.

Next up for No. 4 seed Alabama is No. 6 seed Clemson in the Elite Eight, Saturday at 7:49 p.m. CT in Los Angeles.

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