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Final practice in Tuscaloosa for Alabama basketball before NCAA Tourney

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is on their way to San Diego! It’s a 2,000 mile trip for the Crimson Tide’s start to March Madness.

Alabama isn’t California Dreamin’ anymore! The final shots from Tuscaloosa as Alabama gets ready for Friday’s round one matchup.

“It’s March Madness, doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Jaden Shackelford said.

Alabama will face either Notre Dame or Rutgers, but won’t know which one until Wednesday night.

Keon Ellis says preparing for both teams is going well.

“You know one team has a shorter rotation than the other, so it’s doable,” Ellis added.

After losing three straight, the main message from Nate Oats ahead of the tournament is “lock in.”

“If you lose in the SEC Tourney, you have another game. If you lose now, it’s done. If you can’t get locked in at this point, I don’t know what it would take to get locked in, but I do see a sense of urgency at practice,” Oats said.

Friday’s focus is to simplify the game.

“Kinda three things, take care of the ball, make our layups, make our free throws. On defense, it’s continuing the effort, show some IQ, and execute our plan,” Oats said.

This trip will be a homecoming for Shackelford as he’s from southern California.

He didn’t give us an exact number, but says he will have plenty of friends and family in the stands.

Tip-off is set for 3:15 p.m. central time Friday afternoon.

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