Alabama coach Anthony Grant says his team's identity is its defense.
It's how the Crimson Tide (21-11) earned a trip to their first NCAA tournament since 2006 and what they will rely on against Creighton Friday at the Greensboro Coliseum. It should be an intriguing eight-versus-nine matchup featuring teams with contrasting styles and strengths.
Led by sophomore forward Doug McDermott, the nation's third-leading scorer, Creighton (28-5) is averaging 80 points per game.
That's seventh-best in the nation.
But the big question will be if the Bluejays can score at will against a smothering Alabama defense that allowed just 58.1 points per game, the fewest in the Southeastern Conference this season.
''Alabama's length and athleticism across the board is something that we haven't really seen this year,'' said Creighton coach Greg McDermott. ''They can disrupt things on the perimeter. So they're different than what we have seen in the Missouri Valley Conference without question.''