Alabama basketball will play Notre Dame in first round of NCAA Tournament

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball's opponent for the first round of the NCAA Tournament is officially set. 

The Crimson Tide, a No. 6 seed, will face Notre Dame at 3:15 p.m. CT on Friday at Viejas Arena in San Diego. The game will be televised on TNT. 

Notre Dame defeated Rutgers 89-87 on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.

Alabama (19-13) will aim to snap a three-game losing streak that it carries from the end of the regular season. The Crimson Tide lost to Texas A&M and LSU before going one-and-done in the SEC Tournament with a loss to Vanderbilt. 

Alabama coach Nate Oats is in his third season in Tuscaloosa, having led the Crimson Tide to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Alabama reached the Sweet 16 in 2021. No tournament was held in 2020 because of COVID-19. 

When Oats last coached a 6-seed team, he was in his final season at Buffalo. The Bulls also had to wait to learn who they would face in the first round, but they still went on to defeat 11-seed Arizona State 91-74 in 2019. 

Then Buffalo went on to lose to 3-seed Texas Tech by 20. If Alabama advances, Oats will likely find himself in a similar position. Barring an upset, the 3-seeded Red Raiders will likely be awaiting the winner of Alabama's first round game. 

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