With so much happening in the Toronto sports scene of late, it may not be surprising how one story hasn’t been given enough exposure that it normally would have received. Last week this city’s attention, and rightfully so, was on the Toronto Argonauts and their memorable victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup. We were focused on the snow, the 100 yard touchdown, the fumble recovery and yes, even Shania Twain and the dogsled entrance.
By the time we finished discussing all of those heart stopping moments we ran smack dab into the second leg of the MLS Eastern Championships. Toronto FC held off a spirited Columbus Crew 1-0 to once again advance to the MLS Cup Final where they will, once again, face the Seattle Sounders. In a couple of days, if it hasn’t started already, this city will easily transform from the Argonaut double blue to the TFC red. Very exciting times indeed here in Toronto and with so much going on, we have just enough time to touch on one of the wildest sports stories of the year.
This is what the Alabama basketball bench looks like right now in their game against the Gophers…everyone got ejected. pic.twitter.com/C35gSumNzU
— Zach Halverson (@ZachHalverson) November 25, 2017
I know we hardly ever touch on college basketball unless it is March Madness, but trust me when I say this one game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Minnesota Golden Gophers had enough madness all on its own. College sports in general is played with more emotion than most sports it’s seems and one of the reason it is so exciting. So it isn’t very surprising that tempers started getting heated in the second half and subsequently an altercation broke out. It really doesn’t matter what the altercation was about or who started it, just that for whatever reason, the Alabama players left the bench en masse and onto the floor. This resulted in the entire bench being ejected from the game with over 13 minutes to play and Alabama being down 7.
But it didn’t stop there. About two minutes later, another player Dazon Ingram fouled out and now the Crimson Tide not only didn’t have any substitutes to bring in, but now they have to play a man short, 5 against 4, the rest of the way. This last statement would have been correct, except.. yup, you got it, it didn’t stop there either. Only a minute later, Bama’s John Petty twisted his ankle and could not continue which meant (take out your hockey guides here folks) the Crimson Tide finished the rest of the game with only three players.
You would think that the 12th ranked Golden Gophers could now easily dispatch the 24th ranked Crimson Tide, but that wasn’t the case. Alabama was down by 12 points at halftime yet outscored their opponents by 7 in that second half but eventually lost 89-84. This leads to the only obvious question… why didn’t Alabama go to a 3 players formation earlier right? In fact, they actually had a chance to win the game too. With just over a minute left they had caught up and were only down 83-80 and had possession of the ball. If that 3 point shot went in instead of bounced out and the game was tied, who knows what would have happened next.
Full credit goes to Collin Sexton (40 points), Riley Norris (13 points) and Galin Smith (10 points) who were the only ones left standing. They refused to give up and continued to battle and almost pulled off one of the greatest miracles in sports history.
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