A tidal wave of bad basketball is crashing down upon the Alabama basketball team at the worst possible time. Alabama appeared to be safe in its pursuit of an NCAA Tournament bid a few weeks ago, but that assessment presumed that the Crimson Tide would take care of business in games they were supposed to win.
Narrator voice: Alabama has not been winning the games it is supposed to win.
Alabama got flattened by Florida at home this past weekend. That was a bad giveaway. Then the Tide — who had already lost at home to Texas A&M this season — fell a second time to the Aggies in the reunion on Tuesday night in College Station, Texas. The 65-56 loss puts Alabama right on the middle of the bubble. Alabama will get chances to improve its NCAA Tournament resume, but the Tide will need to pounce on some of those opportunities. If this current losing skid adds a few more losses in the coming weeks, the Tide will play themselves out of the field of 68 and straight into the NIT.
Their coach, who watched the train-wreck in the final 12 minutes against Texas A&M, knows he has to figure something out.
“When we get a lead with 10 or 12 points, we can’t take it to 14 or 16 because we turn the ball over,” Alabama’s Avery Johnson said. “I’ve just got to do a better job of trying to help them make better decisions in critical situations.”
Alabama used a 12-0 run to take a 44-32 lead over A&M with just over 12 minutes left. The Crimson Tide scored just 12 points in those final 12 minutes, going five minutes without hitting a field goal at one point. Texas A&M’s defense corralled the Crimson Tide, who have gone through way too many brutal scoring droughts in their recent series of nightmarish games.
Johnson is trying to get his Alabama players to fight adversity with all their strength.
“Life is not always perfect,” Johnson said about the message he is conveying to his players. “It’s not a Disney movie that ends in a happy ending every game. You’ve got to just stick with it and persevere.”
We will soon see how well Alabama can persevere, as a season and its aspirations hang in the balance.
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