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After Loss at Georgia, Alabama Basketball is Seeking Answers

After Loss at Georgia, Alabama Basketball is Seeking Answers

Crimson Corner: For Alabama Basketball, It's Time to Face the Truth

After arguably the worst loss of the Nate Oats era, it's time for a reality check for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama basketball is staring a 13-10 record right in the face.

The Crimson Tide is currently 13-7, but its upcoming gauntlet of opponents threatens to upend its season. A home game against No. 4 Baylor, a road trip to No. 1 Auburn and then a return home to face No. 12 Kentucky is all that separates Alabama from either a 16-7 record, or an abysmal 13-10.

On Tuesday, Alabama suffered arguably the worst loss of the Nate Oats era, falling at Georgia 82-76. Prior to last night's win for the Bulldogs, the program was 0-6 in SEC play and had lost its last eight games in a row. The loss for the Crimson Tide came after a relatively successful week of downing No. 13 LSU and winning a revenge game against Missouri. A win would have been exactly what the team needed heading into its upcoming three-game stretch, but alas, it couldn't be done.

Consistency and effort have been the primary issues for Alabama this season. While the Crimson Tide thus far has been excellent at playing up to big opponents on the schedule, it has failed to properly prepare for underwhelming teams.

It's hard to believe that Alabama beat both Gonzaga and Houston just last month in back-to-back games. At that time, the Crimson Tide was No. 6 in the country and was one of the favorites to not only win the SEC, but also be a 1-seed in March Madness.

Those days are long gone, and now Alabama fans just hope that their favorite program has enough gas to scrape together a successful final stretch of the season in order to get a double-bye in the SEC Tournament.

The strange thing about the next three games is that all three are entirely winnable for Alabama provided that it shows up prepared. We've already referenced Alabama's two biggest wins, and those show what this team is capable of. The Crimson Tide had a chance against Auburn, tying the game in the final minutes only to fall short.

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Kentucky is a team that Alabama hasn't had to play yet this season, but if the Crimson Tide can take down the likes of Gonzaga, then it's more than capable of handling Kentucky inside Coleman Coliseum.

And that's the funny part. To Crimson Tide fans, their beloved basketball team is notorious for having just as many big moments as it does massive letdowns. It's become quite laughable at just how inconsistent the team plays year-in and year-out.

After Oats' first couple of seasons in Tuscaloosa, the narrative began to change. People thought that the program had finally put those days behind them. Gone were the inconsistencies that plagued the program for so long. I'll admit, for a minute there I was also one of those believers.

But Alabama basketball will, well, always be Alabama basketball. There will definitely be seasons that serve as outliers like last season, and Oats will no doubt succeed at Alabama in the coming years. Just take a look at the team's 2022 signing class if you want a pick-me-up.

This year might not be Alabama basketball's year, but that doesn't mean that it's done yet. Think of the remarkable improvement between Years 1 and 2 under Oats. While we'll never really know, it's safe to assume that the Crimson Tide would not have made the NCAA Tournament in 2020. Last year, though saw the team reach the Sweet 16.

This team hasn't been meshing well and has played like a group of individuals rather than a unified squad. The injury that ended Nimari Burnett's season before it even began is still being felt. It's time to face the truth: 2021-22 simply isn't Alabama's time.

That doesn't mean that the team won't still have some surprises left up its sleeve. It will likely still make the NCAA Tournament and has the schedule left to take down some top-tier teams, but the national title will have to wait another year.

That might come as a harsh wake-up call to some diehard fans, but it's the cold reality. The good news is that under Oats, the recruiting classes have been stellar and next year promises to bring the best chance that Alabama has had in quite some time.

Alabama basketball is staring a 13-10 record right in the face.

The Crimson Tide is currently 13-7, but its upcoming gauntlet of opponents threatens to upend its season. A home game against No. 4 Baylor, a road trip to No. 1 Auburn and then a return home to face No. 12 Kentucky is all that separates Alabama from either a 16-7 record, or an abysmal 13-10.

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