Alabama Basketball’s non-conference schedule for 2013 and 2014 just got a little tougher as it was announced today that they have scheduled a home and home series with the UCLA Bruins. The Crimson Tide will head to Los Angeles to take on the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion next season, while UCLA will make the return trip to Tuscaloosa in 2014-15.
Anthony Grant and company are working hard to improve the Crimson Tide’s non-conference strength of schedule to give the team more opportunities to earn quality wins. The Crimson Tide’s inability to earn a quality win in non-conference play last season was detrimental to Alabama’s NCAA Tournament aspirations.
The Tide’s non-conference strength of schedule ranked 135th in the Pomeroy Ratings, and if Alabama wants an easier road to the NCAA Tournament, then scheduling better is a must.
The news of the home and home series with UCLA comes a few weeks after it was announced that the Crimson Tide would be among the participants in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York at Madison Square Garden. Alabama won the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden last year by defeating both Oregon State and Villanova, which was the second consecutive season that Alabama won an early season tournament.
This field will prove to be the toughest yet, however, as Alabama will be in a semifinal field with Duke, Arizona, and Rutgers. Alabama will play two home games as a part of the tournament, but will make the trek to Madison Square Garden regardless of what happens in those games.
Even with Moussa Gueye and Trevor Lacey deciding to transfer, expectations and excitement are high for the 2013-14 Crimson Tide, and at least one Alabama player is already looking forward to making the trip to Los Angeles next season for a date with the Bruins:
Too hyped to play UCLA next year! @kyleanderson5
— Trevor Releford (@TRelly12) May 18, 2013
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