As if coming from behind and upsetting top-ranked Georgia to win the SEC Championship in football wasn’t enough, Alabama capped off a big Saturday with a monumental basketball victory to boot. The No. 16 Crimson Tide took down No. 3 Gonzaga 91-82 in Seattle behind a big night from Jaden Shackelford. The junior guard led all scorers with 28 points as the Crimson Tide added an early marquee victory to their resume.
The loss is the second of the season for the Bulldogs, who didn’t lose once in the regular season last year. But Gonzaga simply couldn’t keep pace in a battle of two of the country’s best offenses. Drew Timme led the Zags with 23 points. He and top-ranked freshman Chet Holmgren both finished with double-doubles. However, the front court duo was no match for Alabama’s backcourt duo of Shackelford and JD Davison, who added 20 points. Shackelford and Davison combined to make 10 of 14 attempts from 3-point range.
Alabama led by as much as 18 early in the second half after taking a 51-35 halftime lead. The Zags closed within 74-70 at the 6:35 mark, but Davison scored nine points in the final four minutes to help Alabama pull away in the end.
The loss will provide a test of AP Top 25 voter loyalty to Gonzaga, which hasn’t been outside the top-10 of the poll since the 2017-18 season. For Alabama, the victory is a validation of its national standing after the Crimson Tide suffered a loss to Rick Pitino’s Iona squad last week.