Alabama releases tough 2015-16 non-conference schedule

The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team now have a new lease on life. The team is coming off a somewhat successful 2014-15 season after going 18-14 and advancing to the second round of the NIT. Anthony Grant is now out and Avery Johnson is in.

The Crimson Tide hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2012 and they are looking to prove that they belong at the top with the big programs like Kentucky, LSU, and Tennessee. Their tough non-conference schedule released by Monday afternoon certainly proves that.

The Tide open their season with a home match-up against Kennesaw State on November 13, which marks Johnson’s first game as a coach in the college ranks. He spent seven seasons in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

Alabama plays their first road test early in the season when they play in Dayton against the perennial Atlantic-10 powerhouse on November 17 as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon. They then return home to play Louisiana-Lafayette on November 20 before heading to Orlando to participate in the Orlando Classic.

The tournament field includes five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season and Alabama is guaranteed at least one game against one of the five. They open the tournament on November 26 when they face Xavier with a possible match-up against either Wichita State or USC in the second round.

The Tide open December on the road when they play Southern Miss on the 4th and Clemson on the 13th. They then play the final four non-conference games at home beginning on December 16 with Winthrop.

The four-game home stand is highlighted by a match-up against another 2015 NCAA Tournament team in Oregon on the 21st. The final two games see the Tide take on Jacksonville State on December 29 and Norfolk State on January 2.

This is going to be a tough slate for the Crimson Tide, but if they make it out alive and have a good showing in their SEC schedule, you just might be seeing the Tide going dancing for the first time in four years. What a way that would be for Johnson to begin his college coaching career.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports