Why Alabama basketball players listen to Nick Saban and updated SEC scores and standings

Saturday SEC results included the Alabama Crimson Tide rolling after Nick Saban talked to Nate Oats' team.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

From a general perspective it is simple. Former Alabama Crimson Tide coach, Nick Saban is the GOAT. When Saban talks, why would anyone not listen? Another perspective is some young people, especially young men, develop their 'tuning out' skills more than their 'listening closely' skills.

When Nick Saban spoke to the Alabama basketball team a couple of days ago, apparently there was plenty of 'listening closely' going on. After Saturday's win over Texas A&M, Alabama Crimson Tide players Mark Sears, Rylan Griffen, and Latrell Wrightsell talked about the team's session with Saban.

As reported by On3, the Crimson Tide's Rylan Griffen said "you just take everything in because he’s a legend, a living legend." Mark Sears was most impressed by Saban speaking in many players wanting to be a "beast" but not many willing to do what it takes to become one. Latrell Wrightsell loved Saban's Kobe Bryant story from when Kobe met with Crimson Tide football players a few years ago.

Sometimes, words said are less important that who says them. The meanings behind Saban's stories are not unique. Many players hear much the same from coaches and family, but the words from Nick Saban carry unmistakable import.

Some Alabama players had their best defensive games of the season against the Aggies. Nate Oats has been preaching the necessity of more defensive intensity for weeks. Maybe it was Saban's words that made the message sink in.

Alabama Crimson Tide and the SEC

Three SEC teams overcame disadvantages to win on the road Saturday. The big one was Kentucky over Auburn 70-59. Florida won at Georgia, beating the Dawgs 88-82. In an upset, LSU knocked off South Carolina in Columbia, 64-63.

Not mathematically, but realistically six teams remain in contention for the SEC Regular Season Championship. The Crimson Tide is in first play with a 10-2 SEC record, followed by Tennessee at 9-3. Auburn and South Carolina are at 9-4, with Kentucky and Florida at 8-4.

The Crimson Tide is in a strong position but the next five games offer considerable challenge. First up is Florida at home, followed by a Saturday visit to Lexington. Then it is Ole Miss away, Tennessee at home, and Florida away. The Tide's regular season ends with Arkansas in Tuscaloosa.

Saturday's NCAA Tournament Preview of the Big Dance's current top 16, seeded teams had the Crimson Tide as the top 3-seed. The Crimson Tide was projected in the South Region with 1-seed Houston, 2-seed Marquette, and 4-seed Illinois. Later on Saturday, overall No. 1 seed, U Conn destroyed the Marquette Golden Eagles 81-53.

After Saturday's SEC results, KenPom still had Tennessee at No. 5; Auburn at No. 6, and Alabama at No. 7 nationally.