'The sky's not falling': How Alabama basketball plans to reset ahead of NCAA Tournament

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball will have to change something from its recent performances or it won't go far in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Crimson Tide has lost its past three games as March Madness arrives. The latest was an upset at the hands of Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament. 

But Alabama (19-13) earned a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament nonetheless. And it has a chance to start fresh with a first-round matchup against the winner of the play-in game between Notre Dame and Rutgers. Alabama's game will be played at 3:15 p.m. CT on Friday in San Diego. The matchup will be televised on TNT, with former Crimson Tide coach Avery Johnson on the call. 

"Hopefully, it’s a good reset," Alabama coach Nate Oats said. "I mean, it’s a new season."

How exactly will the Crimson Tide reset? 

Oats said one key is reminding players what they're good at and what they have done well. 

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"We've had plenty of games we’ve taken care of the ball," Oats said. "We’ve had plenty of games where guys have shot the ball well, finish well. So just let them know they’re capable of it. Paint a picture of what the possibilities are." 

Oats also mentioned the need for his team to translate what it does well in practice to what it actually does in games. He explained it to his team Sunday in practice how if Alabama had finished at the rim, made free throws and took care of the ball in the game like the team does in practice, it would have won against Vanderbilt. 

"Let's pump up their confidence," Oats said. "Let’s let them know that the sky’s not falling. We’ve had an unbelievable year. We’ve got a chance to make a great run to cap the year off really well." 

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly.