Grand Canyon eliminated by Alabama in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

Mar 24, 2024, 6:48 PM | Updated: 7:44 pm

Tyon Grant-Foster #7 of the Grand Canyon Antelopes handles the ball against Aaron Estrada #55 of th...

Tyon Grant-Foster #7 of the Grand Canyon Antelopes handles the ball against Aaron Estrada #55 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second half in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 24, 2024 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The magical season for Grand Canyon men’s basketball is over after falling 72-61 to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday in Spokane.

GCU dictated the style of play for much of the game, holding a Crimson Tide offense well under its typical effectiveness. Alabama entered the game averaging 91.3 points, but GCU held it to nearly 20 points below that.

Three blocks from each of Tyon Grant-Foster and Lok Wur helped set the tone inside defensively. Plus, three GCU starters each had two steals.

Grant-Foster was incredible on both ends, finishing with 29 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks, but he was just 9-of-16 at the free-throw line and had zero assists with five turnovers.

However, point guard Mark Sears was able to sustain much of the Alabama offense by himself, tallying 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists with three steals. He hit five of Alabama’s eight 3s on the night.

After fighting back from down double-digits in the second half, it was a basket plus a foul from Grant-Foster that tied the game at 55.

GCU pulled ahead shortly after, but Alabama rolled off a 17-3 run to close the game, earning a second-straight Sweet 16 appearance. The Crimson Tide will face the West region’s top-seeded North Carolina.

GCU won a program-best 30 games this season, winning the Western Athletic Conference regular season title and tournament title. It was also the first time the ‘Lopes won an NCAA Tournament game.

Head coach Bryce Drew’s record in the tournament is now 1-3 after his fourth season leading the ‘Lopes.

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