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#pounditTuesday, April 16, 2024

Alabama used message from Nick Saban to spur Final Four run

Nick Saban in a suit

Oct 21, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban does his traditional walk around at Bryant-Denny Stadium before a game against the Tennessee Volunteers. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide might have Nick Saban to thank, at least in part, for their run to the Final Four.

Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats admitted that he leaned on Saban prior to the team’s NCAA Tournament run. Oats said that a message from Saban was very helpful in refocusing the team after an underwhelming end to the regular season.

“He kind of gave me the ‘next’ idea — next, next, next,” Oats said, via Joe Reedy of the Associated Press. “So guys bought in. We can make this run. Other teams have done it. We have the capability to do it. … We can have the No. 1 offense in the country; we had it for the majority of the year. Let’s put a top-20 defense together and we can make a Final Four.”

Leaning on Saban makes plenty of sense for Oats. By most accounts, Saban is happy to help, even though there were some claims of discord behind the scenes last year.

Saturday’s win over Clemson ensured that the Crimson Tide would make their first Final Four in school history. It is perhaps only natural that Saban would have a hand in that, too.


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