The University of Alabama men’s basketball team will open its 2017-18 regular season in the 2017 Veterans Classic on CBS Sports Network, the U.S. Naval Academy announced on Monday.
The Crimson Tide will face Coach Tubby Smith’s Memphis Tigers at 5:30 p.m. CT, followed by Pittsburgh vs. Navy at 8 p.m. CT. Both games will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
“The Alabama basketball program is honored to be a part of the 2017 Veterans Classic,” Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson said in a UA release. “As a program, we have great respect for all members of our armed forces and how they dedicate their lives to protecting our country. We look forward to being involved in every aspect of this great event. Not only will we have the opportunity to see the Naval Academy in person, but it also gives us the chance to personally thank the men and women of Annapolis for their daily efforts to keep our country safe. Most importantly, this will serve as a tremendous educational experience for our student-athletes and one they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
The Crimson Tide will become the fourth consecutive SEC team to compete in the Veterans Classic, following Vanderbilt (2016), Florida (2015) and Tennessee (2014); whereas, the Tigers will be the second team from the AAC (Temple in ’15) to be invited.
The three participating schools will also have the opportunity to get a glimpse of life as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. The visiting teams will be immersed in the culture and tradition of the Naval Academy, including touring the ‘Yard,’ watching noon meal formation, eating lunch with the brigade at King Hall, as well as a number of other special experiences, including military demonstrations and receptions.
Alabama’s pre-conference schedule is not yet complete. The Crimson Tide is expected to participate in the Barclay’s Classic in Brooklyn over the Thanksgiving holiday, and will face Texas in Birmingham in a return of last year’s game in Austin. UA is also expected to participate in the SEC-Big XII Challenge in the upcoming season although the two leagues are still working out pairings.