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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama's record says plenty about the season's challenges.
But so do the latest national rankings.
The Crimson Tide enters Wednesday night's visit to Mississippi assured of its first losing regular-season record since 1999-2000.
Most of the blame can go toward deficiencies such as rebounding and scoring beyond star guard Trevor Releford. Playing No. 1 Florida twice plus No. 2 Wichita State and No. 6 Duke doesn't help either.
The Tide dropped those four games by an average of just 7.5 points.
Coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday that a win or two in those games "makes all the difference in the world" in the Tide's confidence.
Grant needs a strong finish and an SEC tournament run to avoid his first losing mark in eight seasons as a head coach.