Seniors to be honored

TUSCALOOSA -- The University of Alabama men's basketball team16-10 overall and 8-7 in the Southeastern Conference, plays its final game of the regular season on Saturday, March 6, when the Crimson Tide plays host to the No. 7 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs, 24-2 overall and 13-2 in the SEC.

Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. CT in the University of Alabama's Coleman Coliseum.

The game is expected to be a sellout. A limited number of tickets remained on Thursday morning. Any remaining tickets may be purchased at the Alabama Athletic Ticket Box Office in Coleman Coliseum, by phone at 1-800-TIDETIX or on the internet through Alabama's website, www.rolltide.com.

Alabama will honor its four senior players prior to tip-off, so Tide fans are asked to get to the game a few minutes early. That ceremony will take place around 1:45 p.m. Bama's senior basketball class includes point guard Antoine Pettway, guard Demetrius Smith, and forwards Emmett Thomas and Reggie Rambo. Also honored will be senior manager Brad Shurett.

All four of those players will graduate from the University and receive their diplomas in May.

Alabama and Mississippi State have played one another once this season. That game took place slightly less than two weeks ago, on February 21, in Starkville, Miss. Led by sophomore forward Kennedy Winston's 31 points, Alabama won that game 77-73 and takes a four-game win streak into Saturday's season finale'.

Alabama's 2004 senior class, from left, Antoine Pettway, Reggie Rambo, Emmett Thomas and Demetrius Smith.

"The win at Mississippi State gave us some confidence," Gottfried said. "We've played very well ever since. We've just been trying to play hard every night -- we've just been fortunate to win some games. (The Mississippi State) game was pivotal to our season."

Mississippi State has won all three of its games since then and has only two losses all season, to Alabama and to Kentucky.

"It's got all the makings to be a great game," said Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried. "They've got a lot on the line, and obviously we have a lot on the line. They're a very, very good basketball team. We know it, and we've got our hands full."


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