2011 NCAA Tournament: UAB Proves They Had No Business Being in the Field of 68

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IIMarch 16, 2011

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 15: Head coach Mike Davis of the UAB Blazers looks on from the bench during the first half against the Clemson Tigers during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 15, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The University of Alabama-Birmingham was manhandled by the Clemson Tigers from the opening tip on Tuesday night, further cementing the notion that the Blazers had no place in this year's field of 68.

From the minute the brackets were released on Sunday night, UAB came under fire from many experts and analysts for being a team who received a bid without having any credential.

I mean, it's somewhat true, if you consider their body of work.

UAB started the game off taking an early 5-4 lead in the first two and a half minutes.

This would be their only lead of the game.

What would ensue, nobody could have predicted.

Clemson guard Demontez Stitt hit a jumper with 17:20 left in the first half. This bucket would spark a 21-2 run by the Tigers.

Before the blink of an eye, coach Mike Davis and his Blazers were down 25-7.

The Blazers were in disarray.

They accumulated more turnovers (eight) than points (seven) before Jamarr Sanders hit a three pointer following a UAB timeout with 9:30 left in the half.

The story would continue to get worse.

As the first half continued to progress the Blazers found themselves struggling to produce any offense. They couldn't get to the basket, easy jumpers weren't falling and they failed to get to the free throw line.

Much of these problems were due to the size of Clemson inside. Jerai Grant and Devin Booker combined for 32 points and 14 rebounds. Junior guard Tanner Smith added 10 points and four steals as well.

Clemson led at the break, 41-27.

The Blazers came out of the break with a bit of life, mounting a small 8-2 run to open up the second half.

From then on, it was three-point shot after three-point shot.

UAB finished the game shooting at a .500 clip from behind the arc. In total, half of their shots from the field (24 of 48) were of the three-point variety.

The pressure defense of the Clemson Tigers proved to be to much for the Conference-USA regular-season champions.

The Blazers ended the affair with a total 19 turnovers to only 10 assists.

They were overmatched in every facet of the game.

It became clear that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee blatantly got this one wrong.