Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama vs. Clemson: A preview of the ACC/SEC Challenge

CW / Elijah McWhorter
Alabama guard Rylan Griffin (#3) dribbles past Mercer defenders.

 No. 23 Alabama men’s basketball will host the Clemson Tigers for the first time since the 2007-08 season in the inaugural year of the ACC/SEC Challenge on Tuesday night.

The men’s challenge will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, with seven games each night.

The Alabama women’s team will travel to Syracuse on Thursday to compete in the same challenge. The women’s challenge will feature five games on Wednesday and nine games on Thursday, including the headline matchup of No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 7 LSU.

The inaugural year of this challenge comes after 20 years of the Atlantic Coast Conference cohosting a challenge with the Big Ten, and 10 years after the SEC hosted the same challenge with the Big 12. In that challenge, the Alabama men’s team had the best record of any SEC team, with four wins and two losses, both of which came at Oklahoma.

When it comes to the test the Crimson Tide will face this year, Alabama welcomes to Coleman a tough veteran Clemson team. The Tigers’ four incoming transfers have a combined 14 years of experience and averaged a combined 48 points per game last season. 

Clemson also returns senior starter and preseason first-team All-ACC forward PJ Hall, whom Alabama head coach Nate Oats praises as “one of the best post players in the country,” to pair with Syracuse transfer guard Joe Girard III. These two players give the Tigers the top two scorers from conference play last year. 

“They’re good. Very good,” Oats said. “They’re experienced, and we’re going to have to play a lot better to win.”

Because of the new rankings that came out on Monday, only two of the games will face two ranked teams, but that doesn’t mean the matchups won’t be intense.

The two headline matchups of the challenge this year include No. 8 Miami traveling to Rupp Arena to face No. 12 Kentucky on Tuesday night and No. 10 Tennessee traveling to the Dean Dome to square off against No. 17 North Carolina.

Other matchups for college basketball fans to enjoy include No. 7 Duke going on the road to Fayetteville to play Arkansas, and Virginia playing host to No. 14 Texas A&M. There is also Auburn, which plays host Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State traveling to Oxford to take on undefeated Ole Miss and its first-year head coach, Chris Beard.

The Crimson Tide will take on the Clemson Tigers on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CST on ESPN.

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