Minnesota got the rare 3-on-5 hoops power play.
A benches-clearing altercation during Saturday’s game in Brooklyn between Minnesota and Alabama left the Crimson Tide with no bench for most of the second half.
You read that correctly.
Minnesota gained a clear depth advantage after that, but it got even better for the Golden Gophers minutes later.
When an Alabama player fouled out with just under 12 minutes in the game, it became a 5-on-4 game.
But there’s more.
Later in the half, Alabama’s John Petty injured his right leg and was carried off the court. That left the Tide with just three players. Talk about a triangle offense.
To Alabama’s credit, they only lost by five points in the end, 89-84.
“I’ve never, ever seen that in my life. Ever, in my life,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “Not only the ejections, then the kid fouls out, then the kid gets hurt. Never. And then Collin Sexton absolutely loses his mind.”
Once up by 18 points, Minnesota watched Sexton go for 31 in the second half to turn the Tide’s deficit into a three-point margin with just 1:39 left. He finished with a career-high 40 points, 19 of which came in the final 12 minutes. During that stretch, he hit three 3-pointers to keep Alabama alive.
“We don’t practice a lot of five on three offense so that one’s on me,” Pitino said.