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Posted: January 10, 2017

Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson

Take a virtual reality look at the madness at the 2017 National Championship, where the Clemson Tigers beat Alabama Crimson Tide. Clemson ran on the field to celebrate with one second left on the clock. (Video by Ryon Horne/AJC)

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            Nick Saban reacts to Alabama's heartbreaking national championship loss to Clemson
Alabama head coach Nick Saban answers questions during a news conference for the NCAA college football playoff championship game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By Nick Cole

SEC Country

TAMPA, Fla. —

Nick Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide to the brink of his sixth national championship, but a last-second touchdown from Clemson spoiled those plans.

The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 35-31 in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night.

>> WATCH: Clemson wins national championship with dramatic touchdown pass on final drive

Here’s what Saban had to say in the moments following the heartbreaking loss for the Crimson Tide, as told to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi:

“I told the players that I was really proud of what they were able to accomplish this year. One game doesn’t define who you are and I think we have a team of winners. They’ve represented themselves that way all year long, and I’m proud of their accomplishments. For our seniors, they’ve won three SEC championships in a row, been to three straight playoffs, won the national championship.

>> PHOTOS: Clemson beats Alabama to win College Football Playoff national championship

"It was a tough way for the team to lose, but we had our opportunities to stop them and didn’t do it. They made some plays down the stretch and some great catches. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”

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Rinaldi asked him what the difference was in the game:

“I think they made some really good plays at the end of the game and Deshaun Watson was an outstanding player and played fantastic. They were a good team in two-minute. We needed to make a play and didn’t. Getting a penalty in that situation doesn’t help either.”






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