Inside the CFP championship

Separated by 274 miles and slightly different shades of red, the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide met in Atlanta to vie for a national championship.

1:16 a.m.Saban celebrates

Alabama head coach Nick Saban embraces his wife, Terry, after winning his sixth national championship. With the victory, Saban is now tied with former Alabama head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for most national championships won by a head coach in the poll era that began in 1936. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

12:13 a.m.Alabama wins in overtime

Alabama true freshman wide receiver DeVonta Smith catches a 41-yard pass from true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to score the winning touchdown in overtime and another Crimson Tide national championship with a final score of 26-23. Rich Glickstein for ESPN

12:07 a.m.The go-ahead field goal

The ball flies true as Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship bails out the Bulldogs' offense and converts a 51-yard field goal in Georgia's possession of overtime to provide a lead at 23-20. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

12:03 a.m.Glory postponed

Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos turns his back in disbelief after he misses a potential game-winning 36-yard field goal as time expires in regulation. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

11:43 p.m.Alabama ties it up

Whether it was intended for him or not, Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley comes down with this 7-yard touchdown reception on fourth down to help the Crimson Tide tie the game 20-20 late in the fourth quarter. Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

11:36 p.m.The anticipation builds

The Georgia Redcoat Band and its dance team look on with a variety of nerves as Alabama moves down the field late in the fourth quarter. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

11:16 p.m.Lights on in Georgia

Georgia fans continue their tradition of illuminating the stands with cell phone flashlights as the game enters the fourth quarter. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

10:41 p.m.Georgia's 80-yard score

Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman makes a catch over Alabama defensive back Tony Brown and stays inbounds to stroll in for an 80-yard touchdown reception. AP Photo/John Bazemore

10:34 p.m.Alabama fights back

Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III celebrates with Robert Foster after a 6-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

10:32 p.m.Tagovailoa takes over

Alabama true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa entered the game to start the second half, replacing Jalen Hurts. He fires this pass downfield 15 yards to Robert Foster for a first down. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

10:13 p.m.Smart reacts

After taking off his visor, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart collects his thoughts during a timeout in the third quarter. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

9:45 p.m.Godwin gets it close

Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin makes a catch for 16 yards and fights to get down to the Alabama 3-yard line late in the first half. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

9:35 p.m.Chubb drives forward

Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis tackles Georgia running back Nick Chubb after a 2-yard rush at the Georgia 2. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

8:43 p.m.Applying the pressure

Georgia defensive lineman Tyler Clark (52) celebrates a tackle for loss of Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts on third down in the first quarter. The Bulldogs held Alabama scoreless in the first half for just the third time under Nick Saban. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

8:31 p.m.Missed opportunity

Alabama punter JK Scott holds for a field goal by kicker Andy Pappanastos that sails wide left in the first quarter. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

8:27 p.m.A needed defensive break

The Alabama defensive line catches a breather on the sideline in the first quarter. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

8:24 p.m.Alabama's pick

Alabama defensive back Tony Brown rips the ball away from Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims for an interception on the Bulldogs' first drive of the game. The Crimson Tide did not allow an opponent to score on any opening drive this season. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

8:14 p.m.T.O. rolls with the Tide

Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens follows Alabama as the Crimson Tide enter before the game. Owens, who grew up in Alexander City, Alabama, and attended Chattanooga, grew up a fan of the Crimson Tide. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

8:11 p.m.The president enters

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he walks onto the field prior to the national anthem. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

6:42 p.m.A look inside

Alabama defensive back Tony Brown walks back to the locker room after stretching on the field before the game. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

6:33 p.m.Players trickle out

Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, right, and running back Bo Scarbrough, left, stretch out on the field. Fitzpatrick, winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defender, has returned four interceptions for touchdowns in his career -- the most in school history. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

6:10 p.m.Saban is in the building

Alabama head coach Nick Saban arrives at the stadium surrounded by Alabama state troopers as he heads to the Crimson Tide locker room. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

6:04 p.m.The band marches in

A member of the Georgia Bulldogs Redcoat band takes the field well before the game with a smile. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

6:02 p.m.Bo knows bling

Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough shows off a fur coat and completes the ensemble with requisite jersey number and StarBo jewelry. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

5:50 p.m.Smart makes his entrance

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart walks toward the Bulldog locker room after arriving at the stadium. Smart has the chance to become the 11th FBS coach to win a national title at their alma mater. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

4:46 p.m.Inside the locker room

Jerseys and helmets are ready to go in the Georgia locker room, including those of star running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The two became the all-time FBS leaders in career rushing yards by a pair of running back teammates in the semifinals against Oklahoma, eclipsing the mark by Eric Dickerson and Craig James of SMU. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

4:14 p.m.Testing Refcam

These camera hats will be worn by referees during the game as part of 110 cameras set up for the ESPN broadcast. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

3:32 p.m.Finishing touches

A member of the grounds crew dries out a freshly repainted 2018 championship logo before kickoff of the game. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

3:31 p.m.Mission control

Workers post final video edits in the control room for the giant, 360-degree halo video board, which wraps around the top of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

3:10 p.m.All SEC

SEC Nation host Paul Finebaum chats with SEC Nation reporter Laura Rutledge before going on air for the pregame. With both teams in the championship coming out of the SEC, there is plenty of interest from the region. Gerry Melendez for ESPN

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