The University of Alabama men’s basketball team will play at least four teams that made the 2018 NCAA Tournament — and perhaps as many as six — in its 2018-19 non-conference schedule, which was released by UA on Thursday.
The 2018-19 Southeastern Conference game dates, as well as all start times and television carriers, will be revealed at a later date. The SEC office announced league opponents in early June but have not finalized the game dates
The Crimson Tide will face 2018 NCAA Tournament teams Murray State (Nov. 26 in Tuscaloosa), Georgia State (Dec. 4 in Tuscaloosa), Arizona (Dec. 9 in Tuscaloosa) and Stephen F. Austin (Dec. 30 in Nacogdoches, Tex.) before the beginning of league play. In addition, UA will face 2018 NIT champion Penn State (Dec. 21 in Tuscaloosa) and Baylor (Jan. 26, 2019 in Waco, Tex., a part of the annual SEC/Big XII Challenge.)
The Crimson Tide could also play two other NCAA Tournament teams in the ESPN Charleston Classic (Nov. 15-18) after opening the event with Northeastern University. Virginia Tech, Davidson, Purdue and Wichita State, all NCAA Tournament participants in 2018, are also in the field and are potential opponents for UA.
In addition to the previously listed home games, Alabama will host Southern University (Nov. 6) and Appalachian State (Nov. 11).
Along with the Coleman Coliseum games, the Crimson Tide will play in Huntsville for the third consecutive year, facing Liberty at the Von Braun Center on Dec. 18.
In addition to the road games against Stephen F. Austin and Baylor, UA will play at Central Florida in Orlando on Nov. 29.
“Our strategy each year is to have one of the strongest non-conference schedules in the country – one that will challenge our coaches and players, and be exciting for our fans. This year’s schedule certainly meets that criteria,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said in a UA release. “We will welcome some terrific teams to Coleman Coliseum –Power 5 and high-quality mid-major programs – and we will face some great competition on the road against teams that are favored in their respective conference to reach this year’s NCAA Tournament. There is no doubt this schedule will prepare us well for the SEC season.”
UA will play home-and-home SEC games against Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. In addition to those home games the Crimson Tide will host Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and Ole Miss. SEC road games for Alabama also include Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Alabama will play an exhibition game prior to the start of the regular season, but the opponent and date of that game are yet to be finalized.
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