It was quite a struggle for Alabama basketball last year, and the fact the Crimson Tide had what was ranked as the nation’s ninth-toughest schedule played a part in the 13-19 season that included no post-season invitation.
Bama announced its 2014-15 non-conference men’s basketball schedule this week and the highlight is the appearance by the UCLA Bruins in Coleman Coliseum on Dec. 28. It will be UCLA’s first appearance at Alabama.
UCLA reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year. One of the frustrating defeats for Alabama came in Pauley Pavillion. The game was tied at 67-67 with less than a minute to play and the Bruins finished with eight straight points for the 75-67 win.
In addition to facing UCLA in Coleman Coliseum, the Tide will also play host to defending Conference USA regular season champions Southern Miss on Nov. 20 and American Athletic Conference foe South Florida on Dec. 2.
Alabama will play two true road games in non-league play, both coming against a pair of NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago.
The Tide will travel for games at Xavier on Dec. 6 and Wichita State on Dec. 16. Alabama played both teams at home a year ago, two close Bama losses. The Tide fell by three points (77-74) to Xavier and by five points (72-67) to Wichita State.
Alabama will open the season with a three-game home stand. As part of the 2014 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the Tide will open against Towson on Nov. 14, followed by Western Carolina on Nov. 17. Then after hosting Southern Miss, the Tide will travel to Kansas City where it will play a pair of games in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic finals on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. Alabama open the event on Nov. 24 against Iowa State at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Maryland will take on Arizona State in the other semifinal, with the winners and losers of each game advancing to the consolation and championship games on Nov. 25.
Should Alabama play Arizona State in the tournament, it would mean that five of the 13 non-conference foes would be teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Nine of the Tide’s 13 non-conference games will be played at Coleman Coliseum, which marks the most home games in non-conference play since playing nine home games during the 2009-10 season.
Alabama’s Southeastern Conference schedule and all start times and television carriers will be announced later.
The 2014-15 Alabama men’s basketball non-conference schedule:
#Nov. 14 Towson
#Nov. 17 Western Carolina
Nov. 20 Southern Miss
%Nov. 24 Iowa State @ Kansas City
%Nov. 25 Arizona State or Maryland @ Kansas City
Dec. 2 South Florida
Dec. 6 @ Xavier
Dec. 13 Tennessee Tech
Dec. 16 @ Wichita State
Dec. 19 Stillman Dec. 21 Appalachian State
Dec. 28 UCLA
Jan. 2 North Florida
# CBE Classic Opening Rounds (Tuscaloosa)
% CBE Classic Finals (Kansas City, Mo.)