The 2018-2019 Alabama Basketball schedule has been released, and the Tide will play a challenging slate as they try to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. Coach Avery Johnson begins his fourth season at the Capstone with growing expectations of the Tide becoming a perennial tournament team.
The marquee matchups for the men in Crimson will consist of highly-ranked Arizona, who comes to town in a return game, on Sunday, December 9th for a noon tip to be shown on ESPN. Penn State comes to Tuscaloosa on Friday, December 21 (time TBA), and Bama goes to Nacogdoches, Texas on Sunday, December 30th to play a very good Stephen F. Austin team.
Nov. 15-18, the Crimson Tide take part in the Charleston Classic. They open with Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association. The next round would be either Ball State or Virginia Tech. Their final game of the tournament could be either Purdue or Wichita State.
Unfortunately, the biggest SEC game of the year is scheduled for Saturday, January 5th at Noon when the Kentucky Wildcats come to call. The unfortunate part is twofold: the students will still be on break, and the Tide gridiron team should be in California getting ready for the Championship game on the following Monday night.
The SEC draw for the Tide appears to be better than it has been in recent previous seasons, playing Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee only once each. Kentucky, Ole Miss, UGA and Florida will all be in Tuscaloosa. The home and home series will be with LSU, MSU, Auburn, Vandy, and Texas A@M.
The Tide Tip-Off preview and scrimmage will be on Monday, October 15th with the doors opening at 6 p.m. and the on-floor event beginning at 7 p.m. The lone exhibition game will be on Tuesday, October 30th against Montevallo (time TBA). The season will open on Tuesday, November 6th when coach Avery Johnson’s alma mater, Southern, comes to town.
Once again there will be a game played in Huntsville. The Tide will host Liberty on Tuesday, December 18th at The Von Braun Center. Hopefully, the ice hockey rink that plagued the team in last year’s game will be better taken care of this year. Players were slipping and sliding on the damp floor all game, and were very lucky not to have any major injuries occur.
Coach Johnson, and Athletic Director Greg Byrne have once again built a challenging schedule for the Tide, which pays off in getting the team ready for SEC play and beyond. There are very few teams scheduled that are RPI busters.
Look for an exciting team to take the floor in October, despite the loss of mercurial point guard (and 8th pick in the NBA draft) Collin Sexton. The Tide will have a great mixture of veteran leadership and young guns to put on the floor. I am very excited for the season, and future of Alabama Basketball.
Roll Tide Roll