TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – There's going through a gauntlet, and then there's the University of Alabama men's basketball schedule next season.
Alabama announced its non-conference schedule on Tuesday morning and confirmed that the Crimson Tide will play three Final Four teams from the 2021 NCAA Tournament during the 13-game non-Southeastern Conference part of the 2021-22 schedule.
The slate includes seven games inside Coleman Coliseum, including the season opener against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 9, five neutral-site games and one true road contest.
That road game will be Dec. 15 at Memphis, the 2021 NIT champions who could be a preseason top-give team this season.
Alabama will close non-conference play on Jan. 29 when it hosts reigning national champion Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Crimson Tide will visit Seattle, Washington, on Dec. 4, to take on national runner-up Gonzaga in the Battle in Seattle.
A week later, Alabama will return to host Houston on Dec. 11.
Alabama will also play at the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida. The Crimson Tide will open the tournament against Iona on Nov. 25 and will take on either Belmont or Drake on Nov. 26, with the event’s final game coming on Nov. 28.
Kansas is on the other side of the bracket.
The Crimson Tide's non-conference foes combined to win seven conference regular season and tournament championships last season. Four went on to play in the NCAA tournament, with three more playing in the NIT. The 13 teams had a combined overall record of 226-82 (.734), 127-45 (.738) in league play.
Louisiana Tech is the defending Conference USA West Division champions and made the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Crimson Tide will open the 2021-22 regular season with a four-game homestand beginning on Nov. 9. It will include games against Summit Conference regular season champion South Dakota State (Nov. 12), South Alabama (Nov. 16) and Oakland (Nov. 19) all coming to the Capstone.
Alabama will also face Jacksonville State on Dec. 18 in Tuscaloosa, before playing Colorado State in Birmingham on Dec. 21.
The Tide’s 18-game SEC slate, along with tip times and television designations, will be announced at a later time.