Alabama baseball left out of 2022 NCAA Tournament despite late surge

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama baseball made a valiant effort in the SEC Tournament to revive postseason hopes, but it was too little too late for a team that needed just a few more wins to make the NCAA Tournament. 

When the field was announced during Selection Monday, the Crimson Tide (31-27) was not included. It wasn't one of the first four teams out, either. 

Alabama was looking to make the NCAA regionals for a second consecutive year under coach Brad Bohannon, who's in his fifth season coaching the Crimson Tide. The 2021 trip was the first since 2014. 

Heading into the final series of the regular season against Arkansas, Alabama appeared to have little to no shot of making the NCAA Tournament. Then the Crimson Tide went on a small run. 

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It started with a 2-1 series win over the Razorbacks. Then, Alabama created some Hoover magic once again as it upset No. 6 seed Georgia and No. 3 seed Arkansas in the SEC Tournament. A loss to No. 7 seed Florida and No. 2 seed Texas A&M ended Alabama's time in Hoover. 

That success in late May was a stark change from the last few weeks of the regular season, which are what ultimately kept Alabama out of the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide lost five consecutive SEC series. 

Contrast that with mid-April, when the question wasn't whether Alabama make an NCAA regional. Instead, it was: would it play host to one? 

The Crimson Tide started April with a series win over Texas A&M. Then, Alabama swept then-No. 7 Ole Miss and managed to defeat No. 1 Tennessee in the opening game of the weekend series. The Rebels were the last team in the field. 

"I think we have a really good team," Bohannon said Saturday. "I don't know, 12 losses by one run, I don't know if that means anything, but we're in a ton of games. If you just win one or two more of those, your RPI is in the 30s." 

Still, it was not quite enough for the NCAA Tournament committee to place the Crimson Tide in a regional for a second consecutive year. Alabama's season comes to a close. 

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly