A look at the Tide's nonconference opponents

A look at the Tide’s nonconference opponents

Last season, Alabama had one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the entire country. However, that didn’t stop the Crimson Tide from knocking off No. 3 Gonzaga, No. 4 Baylor, and No. 14 Houston.

Those were just some of the wins. On the other hand, the losses were not the prettiest by any means. Alabama fell to Memphis, Davidson, and Iona. Nate Oats’ squad showed a little too much inconsistency last season, and the coaching staff plans on fixing that for this season.

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Alabama has another tough slate of non-conference opponents for the 2022-2023 season. Today, Roll Tide Wire takes an early look at their nonconference opponents and how the Crimson Tide stack up against each of them.

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The Longwood men’s basketball team began competing in Division 1 in 2007. Last season, the Lancers made their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Despite a lop-sided loss to Tennessee in the Round of 64, the Lancers still have high hopes for the 2022-2023 season. The Crimson Tide will begin their season against a formidable opponent in Longwood. It should make for an interesting matchup for the first time the two programs have met.

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Liberty are one of the best teams in the A-SUN last season. The Flames are led by guard Darius McGhee who was named the 2022-2023 Preseason Player of the Year. Last season, he finished second in the entire country in points per game (24.6). With the Tide’s inexperience at the guard position, this matchup could be tough for Alabama. It will be an early test for Nate Oats’ squad.

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Last season, Alabama snuck by with a 73-68 win over South Alabama. This season the Crimson Tide will have to travel to Mobile in the back end of a home-and-home series with the Jaguars. It will be the Crimson Tide’s first true road game of the season. Although the Jaguars lost their top scorers, they brought in some key transfers in Greg Parham (VMI) and Judah Brown (St. Mary’s). It will be interesting to see how Alabama can handle the Jaguars at their place.

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama’s fourth game will come against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Last season, the Crimson Tide knocked off the Gamecocks by a score of 65-59. Head coach Ray Harper led his squad to the NCAA Tournament where the Gamecocks put up a valiant effort in a loss at Auburn. Alabama could have trouble defending an experienced, lengthy lineup that Harper will put out on the floor for their mid-November matchup.

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Alabama will meet up with Tom Izzo’s squad in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon. The two last met in 1998 in Hawaii which the Spartans came away with a 75-58 victory. Now, the Crimson Tide will be tasked with taking on a different Spartans squad that is led by guars AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker. This will likely be a good resume builder for Alabama if they can perform well.

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South Dakota State gave Alabama everything that it could handle last season. The Crimson Tide won the game by a score of 104-88. The Jackrabbits went on to have a 30-5 record and earned themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season will see several key players returning. Although Baylor Scheierman graduated, the Jackrabbits still bring back a lot of talent. It will be interesting to see how the rematch goes this season.

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Houston and Alabama had a tight contest last season that resulted in a Crimson Tide victory. Alabama guard JD Davison had a controversial game-winning blocked shot that caused a lot of chaos between the Cougars and the referees. Ultimately, the Cougars felt as if they had won the game. They would go on to the NCAA Tournament where they fell in the Elite Eight at Villanova. This season’s matchup will be televised nationally on CBS and tipoff is set for 2:00 ET / 1:00 CT.

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Last season, Alabama had a lackluster performance against Memphis. The game ended in a 92-78 loss for the Crimson Tide. That was when the Tigers had Jalen Duren, Emoni Bates, and Lester Quinones. Now, those players are either in the NBA or at another college program. Penny Hardaway’s squad reached the NCAA Tournament last season, but this team looks drastically different. Nevertheless, Hardaway and his staff will likely present a good lineup with a sure challenge in mid-December for the Crimson Tide.

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There has been no shortage of success for the Gonzaga men’s basketball program over the years. Head coach Mark Few never fails to put elite talent out on the floor each year. However, Alabama was able to knock off the Zags in a neutral site game in Seattle. The Crimson Tide came out on top by a final score of 91-82. The Bulldogs return several starters like Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, and Hunter Sallis. Along with those returning, they also added Efton Reid (LSU) and Malachi Smith (Chattanooga) via the transfer portal. The expectations are increasingly high for both programs, so this rematch should be very intriguing.

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Yes, this is the school that Deion Sanders coaches football at. If you were wondering, he isn’t the head basketball coach, however. The basketball team is led by head coach Mo Williams. Interestingly enough, Williams played for Alabama from 2002-2003 before heading to the NBA. This matchup should be one of the Crimson Tide’s easier non-conference games. The Tigers finished last season with an 11-19 record.

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Last season, Alabama was able to defeat Baylor to do their part in the SEC/Big 12 challenge. Now, they will have to do it against Oklahoma this season. The Sooners did not make the NCAA Tournament last season and ended the season with a 19-16 record. Head coach Porter Moser returns several key players and could present some problems for the Crimson Tide in late January when Alabama visits Norman.

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