Hi, everyone. Long time no write. Just dropping in to update what we know so far about the schedule next season.
Houston will come to Tuscaloosa this season after the game had to be canceled last season in the wake of the Covid disruptions. Kelvin Sampson has completely rebuilt the Houston program, resulting in a Final Four run and a top five KenPom finish last season. This is part of a home-and-home agreement so Alabama will return the favor in the 22-23 season.
Another big home-and-home series for Alabama this season will be Gonzaga. The Zags were the national runner-ups for the second time in four seasons a year ago, and have elevated themselves to one of the top programs in the sport. Both games will be at neutral sites, with Alabama traveling to Seattle this season, and the Zags making a return trip to Birmingham in 22-23. Based on the style of play of both programs, this should be a really fun game.
Our guys will travel to Orlando in November for the Orlando Invitational. Other teams in the event are Kansas, Miami, Iona, Drake, Dayton, Belmont, and North Texas. Five of the seven teams reached the NCAA Tournament last season. Belmont did not reach a postseason tournament last season despite a 26-4 record. Dayton is coached by former Alabama coach Anthony Grant.
In July of 2020 the university announced that Alabama and Memphis had agreed to play three games - an exhibition in Memphis in 20-21, and a home-and-home the following seasons. The exhibition was canceled due to Covid, but what the status of the series going forward is unknown.
Alabama will also take part in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge this season. The matchups haven't been named yet.
So that's 6 - maybe 7 - games we know of. Two of them against 2021 Final Four teams. Assuming the team plays a 12/13 game non-conference schedule, my guess is the remaining games left on the schedule will be of the buy-game variety.
I hope everyone is doing well. Take care of yourselves. Roll Tide!