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Rick Barnes and Tennessee need to regroup and prevent another outing like last Saturday at Alabama from happening again.

How Tennessee can prevent another disappointing performance like Saturday night

SEC Country reporter Blake Morgan will candidly answer your Tennessee sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @BlakeMorganSEC, Tennessee Insiders Facebook page or by email to Blake at blakemorgan123@gmail.com.

Let’s just say an expletive in the tweet asking about the Vols basketball game last Saturday will keep me from putting it in the post. The commenter wanted to know what happened to the team in the 78-50 loss at Alabama.

Rick Barnes offered up what he thought the best answer might be as to why the team played so poorly.

I think it was a simple case of the team getting too high on itself. Coming into a sold-out arena and running into a buzz saw.

Tennessee couldn’t stop Alabama from scoring at the rim. Offensively, the Vols struggled against the Tide’s length and athleticism the whole game.

The Vols are projected to be a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament because of how well they play as a team. And how well they work together defensively.

RELATED: 3 things from Tennessee’s 78-50 defeat at Alabama

The Vols had allowed 58.5 points per game during the six-game winning streak heading into Saturday. Alabama had 60 points with just under 12 minutes left to go.

I fully expect Barnes to push the Vols hard in practice leading up to the South Carolina game on Tuesday. My prediction: A lackadaisical effort like this won’t happen the rest of the season.

It’s possible the Alabama game will be the kick in the pants the Vols needed to get their heads right with March nearing. This team has to play hard and together to win every game. We’ll see that moving forward.

For answers to prior Tennessee Questions of the Day, click here.