March Madness: Grant Nelson leads Alabama over No. 1 North Carolina to first Elite Eight since 2004.

Los Angeles— North Carolina stalled late Thursday night, and Grant Nelson took advantage.

Alabama defeated top-seeded North Carolina 89-87 at Arena in Los Angeles on Thursday night thanks to Nelson's late block. That put Alabama in their first Elite Eight sin

Alabama coach Nate Oats said, “We’ve been in one Elite Eight in the history of Alabama basketball. He showed up huge tonight against one of the top bigs in the country.”

The first half was insanely fast. The two teams scored 100 points and shot better than 50% from the field in the first 20 minutes, trading buckets.

North Carolina took the lead in the second half. A Rylan Griffen 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the half froze Alabama.

The Crimson Tide made just one shot the rest of the half as the Tar Heels went on an 11-2 run to lead by eight. 

Cormac Ryan hit four of his first five 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, helping North Carolina make 10 in the first 20.

No team could match that pace. North Carolina missed its first 10 shots of the second half, six from behind the arc, and didn't score until Armando Bacot's layup over five minutes

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