Report: Alabama Basketball, Kansas, Dayton to Headline Orlando Invitational

The Crimson Tide could potentially see a rematch with coach Rick Pitino and Iona during an early-season tournament in Orlando
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Alabama basketball, which has drawn Top-10 praise from nearly every media outlet so far in the offseason, is slated to headline the 2021 Orlando Invitational along with Kansas and Dayton per CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein. 

Other teams involved include North Texas, Miami (FL), Iona, Belmont and Drake. The event is slated to take place Nov. 25-28. 

Every team included made the 2021 NCAA tournament with the exception of Dayton, Miami and Belmont. The Crimson Tide faced the Gaels in the opening round and won 68-55 inside Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. 

Dayton is another school with an Alabama connection thanks to former Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant who is in charge of the Flyers.

“Next year, we’re gonna play Brigham Young, we’re gonna play Seton Hall at the Garden," Iona coach Rick Pitino said last December. "We’re gonna be in the Orlando Invitational with Kansas, Alabama, schools like that. We’re excited about that as well.” 

TV times and an official bracket will be released at a later time.

Along with the tournament in Orlando, the Crimson Tide is set to make up its game with Houston inside Coleman Coliseum, which was canceled last season due to the Cougars dealing with COVID-19 protocols. 

Houston reached the Final Four back in March.

“I think you guys have gotten to know me well enough that we’re gonna schedule really good teams,” Oats told the media in April. “Houston’s pretty good. I’m not trying to schedule too many top-10 teams to come in here. Houston will be in here. We’re still trying to work on the Birmingham deal, what’s gonna happen there. We typically play up there and some other ones. We’ve got some work to do on the schedule, it’s nowhere close to being done. Adam [Bauman]’s been working hard on it. I was a little more tied up with some of this recruiting. Now that that’s over, we can turn our attention a little bit more to scheduling. Maybe have a better update on that in a month or so.

“That’s not really the way it works when you play in the SEC. You’ve got enough top-10 teams in-conference here. I’m not scheduling a bunch of them out of conference. We’ve got the Big 12 Challenge, we’re going to Orlando in the AdvoCare that’s got a solid field. There’s only so many really high-level games you want in the non-conference. There’s an art to this doing this scheduling thing, and I think we’ve done pretty good with it.”