NEXT UP: Tide thrashes Maryland for spot in final 16 of NCAA tourney

Alabama basketball advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 with a 96-77 victory over Maryland on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The victory was the eighth in a row for the Crimson Tide, which won the SEC tournament and regular-season championships.

Alabama (26-6) will be making its eighth trip to the round of 16. The 2004 team was the last to advance this far, making it to the final eight for the deepest run in school history. The Crimson Tide is a No. 2 seed in the tournament field.

Alabama improved to 21-20 all-time in NCAA tournament play in its 21st all-time appearance.

Maryland finished 17-14. The 10th-seeded Terrapins, who finished eighth in the Big Ten, had won seven of their last 10 games going into Monday’s contest.

Alabama will play No. 11 seed UCLA (20-9) in the next round.

Here’s how UA did it:

1. Crimson Tide bench comes up big

Alabama played without All-America forward Herbert Jones (foul trouble) for most of the first half, but it didn’t slow the Crimson Tide thanks to 11 first-half points by Alex Reese and a near double-double before halftime by Quinerly (seven points, nine assists).

Three-point shooting, iffy in the first-round win over Iona, was a strong point in the half as Alabama made 8 of 17 shots from beyond the arc, including 3 of 4 by Reese.

The final bench scoring tally was Alabama 39-9 over the Terps, a statistic that did not reflect Quinerly’s 11 assists or the 10 combined rebounds by Quinerly and Reese that helped Alabama dominate the boards, 40-19.

2. Alabama can get hotter, but it is usually in July

The Crimson Tide easily eclipsed the school record for 3-pointers in an NCAA tournament game, breaking the record of 12 against Marquette set in the 2006 West Regional in San Diego. The 16 3-pointers against Maryland represented the third-highest total of the season and the most since Alabama made 18 of 30 in a Feb. 13 home win over Georgia.

The most welcome sight for Alabama fans was a return to form by John Petty Jr., who had 20 and made four 3-pointers.

3. Primo makes return, contributes

Joshua Primo, who coach Nate Oats had listed as a game-time decision Sunday, did get to play for the first time since injuring a knee in the first round of the SEC tournament. He played well, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting over 21 minutes.

The other injury news was more worrisome as Jordan Bruner clearly was bothered by sore knees and was replaced in the starting lineup by Juwan Gary.