— TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Leon Douglas is once again coming up big in the NCAA tournament, just on a smaller stage and wearing a suit instead of a jersey and shorts.
Nearly four decades after posting two of the University of Alabama's best postseason performances, Douglas the coach has guided eighth-seeded Tuskegee into the Division II quarterfinals Wednesday against Metro State in Evansville, Ind.
The Tigers (21-11) pulled off three straight upsets to win the South Region while the other seven No. 8 seeds fell in the first round. Like at Alabama, Douglas is doing it at a school better known for football.
He even drew a chuckle at his job interview from a skeptical administrator when he listed competing for an NCAA title as one of his goals eight years ago.
"Really, this has been a football school," Douglas, 59, said recently. "Basically, everything is centered around football. When I went to Alabama, Alabama was all football. For the four years I was there, we were able to transform it into not only just football but make it football and basketball.
"I'm trying to do the same thing here at Tuskegee."
The 6-foot-10 Douglas has done it in Division I, too. He had 35 points and 17 rebounds in an opening-round win over North Carolina in the 1976 NCAA tournament before losing to unbeaten and eventual national champion Indiana 74-69.
The year before, he racked up 29 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a 97-94 opening-round loss to Arizona State.
Douglas still holds Alabama's single-game NCAA tournament records for rebounds and blocked shots in a game and is second in points scored.
As Tide teammate Wendell Hudson pointed out to Douglas recently: "Now you've got another chance on that stage."
"It's a miracle, it's a blessing," Douglas said. "It's a combination of things, but for us to be at this particular point is incredible."