INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WBRC) - March Madness has officially begun, and No. 2 Alabama is less than 48 hours away from its first-round game against No. 15 Iona.
Alabama believes the NCAA’s bubble is worth it if it means they actually get to play in the NCAA Tournament, because the last time March Madness happened was nearly 700 days ago.
“We’re glad we made it here. Living in the bubble has been good so far, it’s pretty high level if you ask me,” said Alabama guard Jaden Shackelford.
All 68 teams playing in the tournament are dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and have each been pretty secluded to one floor at their hotel. For Alabama, they’re embracing the strict protocols.
“We can’t really leave our hotel floor unless we’re going to practice or lift weights. It’s a whole different experience, but it’s pretty interesting. I feel like it’s pretty fun because I think it’s a once in a lifetime chance we get to do this,” said Alabama guard Herb Jones.
To pass the time, Alabama is studying, watching movies, or playing card games, like Spades.
“As far as the best Spades player, I’m not going to give it to myself, I’m going to give it to JP or Herb for sure,” said Shackelford.
Alabama, who won the SEC Tournament for the first time in 30 years, is playing with a lot of confidence and has a chance to make a deep run in the tournament. As we inch closer to game day, Coach Nate Oats has a message to himself.
”Don’t screw it up,” he said.
As for injuries, Oats doesn’t think star freshman Josh Primo will play on Saturday against 15-seed Iona, as he is still rehabbing his knee he injured in the SEC Tournament.