Alabama Basketball to face UNC, Houston in 2024-25

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Alabama has played many college basketball giants over the last three seasons, mostly due to Coach Nate Oats’ willingness to schedule some of the sport’s most respected brands.

The 2024-25 season will be no different, as Bama’s non-conference schedule is already loaded. Two more of its matchups were announced this week, and both will be rematches from recent seasons. Alabama is set to take on traditional college hoops powers UNC and Houston, both of whom will be seeking revenge against the Tide. 

These will certainly be marquee matchups, as Alabama is on the short list to be the preseason no. 1 team in the country and the Cougars and Tar Heels are both perennial top-10 programs. Bama actually beat both teams in a two-week span in the 2022-23 season, with UNC and Houston both ranked no. 1 at the time of the games. 

Bama vs North Carolina, Round 3

The Tide will take on North Carolina on December 4th as part of the second annual SEC/ACC Challenge. This will be yet another iteration of the blossoming non-conference rivalry between the two schools–a rivalry that has been dominated by Nate Oats and Alabama.

As previously mentioned, the Tide knocked off the top-ranked Tar Heels in November of 2022. Alabama would go on to become the top overall seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, while the Heels were sent into a tailspin and missed the Dance.

In the following offseason, Alabama won a huge recruiting battle over North Carolina, landing Chapel Hill native and UNC legacy Jarin Stevenson. The former 5-star forward is now gearing up for his sophomore season in Tuscaloosa.

The two teams met again in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, with Alabama edging out the no. 1 seeded Tar Heels and eventually reaching the Final Four. 

Just over a month later, Nate Oats and company won another huge head-to-head recruiting battle over the Heels, signing transfer big man Cliff Omoruyi.

Both Alabama and North Carolina were already considered top-10 teams heading into 2024-25, and Omoruyi was viewed as the “missing piece” for both rosters. In fact, either program would've had a fair argument to claim the best roster in the sport with the addition of Omoruyi. As a result, this was one of the most high-profile transfer recruitments of the entire offseason, and the Tide came out on top.

Alabama will head to Chapel Hill this December looking for its third straight on-court win over North Carolina.  

Bama vs Houston, Round 3

Alabama will also play Houston in the opening game of the Players Era Festival, a high-dollar NIL tournament in Las Vegas. This tournament is the first of its kind and will likely have a revolutionary impact on college hoops, which is still in the infancy stages of the NIL era. 

Like North Carolina, Houston was a no. 1 seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament and is expected to once again be a powerhouse in 2024-25. Alabama beat top-ranked Houston in its own building by a score of 71-65 in December 2022. It also beat the Cougars 83-82 in Tuscaloosa in December 2021.

Coach Oats will be looking to make it three straight against Kelvin Sampson and the Cougars in Vegas.