Alabama is back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Crimson Tide (21-11) drew a No. 9 seed Sunday and faces No. 8 Creighton (28-5) on Friday at the Midwest Regional in Greensboro, N.C. The winner will likely face top-seeded North Carolina.
Alabama had to overcome off-the-court troubles. The Tide went 6-4 after a season-ending suspension of No. 2 scorer and rebounder Tony Mitchell. Star JaMychal Green was then suspended for four games and guards Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele both were held out of one.
Coach Anthony Grant upgraded the nonconference schedule after Alabama didn't make the NCAA field with an identical record and 12 SEC wins last season.
The Tide lost 66-63 to Florida in the second round of the SEC tournament.