Alabama head basketball coach Nate Oats spoke with the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Sunday and hinted at how the schedule for the coming campaign might take shape.
The first news announced was that the Crimson Tide will face Belmont in Huntsville, on Dec. 21. It will be the fourth consecutive year Alabama has played a game in the Rocket City, after defeating Arkansas State, Mercer, and Liberty the last three seasons. [Interestingly, the Bama softball team played Belmont in Cullman back in April. ]
Oats also remarked that his team will be playing a game in Birmingham again this year, though the details have not been released as of yet. “We’re close to finishing up the game in Birmingham.” The Crimson Tide have not had much luck at Legacy Arena (aka BJCC) as of late, having lost the last three times (Oregon, Clemson, Texas).
BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS
Before Oats took over the team, Alabama had already agreed to participate in the high-profile annual Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, which features a loaded field of North Carolina, Oregon, Michigan, Gonzaga, Seton Hall, Iowa State and Southern Miss. Of the 8-team field, only Bama and USM did not make the 2019 NCAA Tournament. UNC, Michigan, Oregon and Gonzaga were all Sweet 16 participants. Each team will play three games.
The conference match-ups were announced last month but dates and times are still being worked out. Alabama’s SEC foes are as follows:
Home-and-Home: Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Vanderbilt.
Home Games: Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas A&M
Road Games: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ole Miss.
BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE
The Big 12/SEC Challenge is still in the works. In past seasons, a few SEC teams did not participate since the SEC has 14 teams and the Big 12 has 10. Effective in the 2019–20 season, the SEC teams excluded from the B12/SEC Challenge will participate in the newly launched SEC/American Alliance against teams from the American Athletic Conference.
The Crimson Tide will also play host to Stephen F. Austin, who they defeated on the road last season. Alabama also owes return trips to Penn State and Rhode Island who came to Tuscaloosa last year and two years ago, respectively.
Beyond these games, there are still about half of a dozen other slots to fill.
When asked about playing in-state schools in non-conference play, Oats replied “it’s got to fit for us and for them both. We may play Samford up there in Birmingham. ... I wouldn’t be opposed to going down to play South Alabama because that will get you playing down in Mobile where we’ve got a big fanbase. … I would be open to playing at South Alabama. It’s probably not going to happen this year because it’s so late. We had to fulfill a certain amount of home games. But in the future, yes, we have talked about that, and I’ve talked about it with the administration and the staff. It’s just got to make sense on both ends.”
Alabama and UAB have met only once on the basketball court for a NIT meeting in 1993 which the Blazers won 58-56 win. Should the Tide schedule UAB in the future?
This poll is closed
Yes, play them anywhere, anytime.
Yes, but only at Coleman Coliseum.
No, why help promote their team?
Other (see my witty take/pun in comments).