A first for Alabama. Plus, will NC State have a heroic moment?

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Elite Eight Nightcap brings the drama

The Tide is rolling into the Final Four. Neither No. 6 Clemson nor No. 4 Alabama have been to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four before, and each fought hard for the chance. The Crimson Tide got down early. Then Nate Oats’ squad started setting the pace and making clutch 3-pointers, sinking 10 of 15 behind the arc in the second half. Mark Sears finished with 23 points, including 7 of 14 3-pointers after going scoreless the first 15 minutes. Jarin Stevenson contributed 19 points off the bench, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

Huskies romp in men’s and women’s brackets

No. 1 UConn easily dispatched No. 3 Illinois on Saturday, 77-52. UConn went on an amazing 30-2 run, shutting down the Illini defensively and lighting up the scoreboard. The Huskies are on track to become the first team to win back-to-back NCAA Tournament titles since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007. And on the women’s side, No. 3 UConn ended No. 7 Duke’s season, 53-45, with star guard Paige Bueckers putting up 24 points.

Top reads today for college hoops fans

Is it Captain America or Michael O’Connell? NC State’s 6-2, 195-pound guard has played a starring role as the Wolfpack have surprised and delighted fans throughout the ACC and NCAA tournaments. No. 11 NC State hopes for another heroic performance (remember his season-saving shot vs. Virginia?) against No. 4 Duke today at 5:05 p.m. ET. Speaking of starring roles, Zach Edey will be front and center for No. 1 Purdue against No. 2 Tennessee in Sunday’s first men’s game at 2:20 p.m. ET.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley says she’s “worried every day” as No. 1 South Carolina makes its way through the NCAA Tournament, with some close calls. But she’s always ready to give her team the credit they deserve, including the coaches. Take a look at the rest of the Gamecocks’ coaching staff, which “has a little bit of everything.” No. 1 South Carolina takes on No. 3 Oregon State at 1 p.m. ET, and No. 1 Texas faces No. 3 NC State at 3 p.m. ET.

Lightning-rod LSU coach Kim Mulkey was featured in a Washington Post profile that calls her “a hoops whisperer, an exceptional teacher, a coach willing to dive deeply into players’ emotions to push them past their preconceived limits.” Mulkey said she didn’t read it before Saturday’s game vs. UCLA, but she’ll make sure her attorneys do.

Iowa women crush Colorado; LSU Tigers await

Caitlin Clark led the stampede of the Buffs on Saturday, scoring 29 points in Iowa’s 89-68 victory over No. 5 Colorado. Who do the Hawkeyes face in the Elite Eight? Defending champion No. 3 LSU, which cruised past No. 2 UCLA, 78-69. No. 1 Southern California beat No. 5 Baylor, 74-70.

Read the last edition of The Scorecard here.