Alabama begins two-game homestand against rival No. 4/4 Auburn on Wednesday night

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Buffalo head coach Nate Oats talks to his players during the first half of a first round men’s college basketball game against Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will play its second consecutive ranked opponent when it welcomes rival No. 4/4 Auburn to Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2. It will mark the first of two contests this season between the in-state foes, as UA will play the return game at Auburn Arena on Feb. 12 (6 p.m. CT).

Wednesday’s match-up will mark the 161st meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the fourth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 95-65 edge in the series, which includes an all-time record of 42-9 when playing Auburn in Coleman Coliseum (49-10 when hosting the Tigers in Tuscaloosa).

The Crimson Tide is coming off a hard-fought 76-67 loss at then-No. 14 Kentucky last Saturday afternoon. It was just team’s third loss in the past nine contests (6-3), all of which were on the road and by single-digits. In addition to Saturday’s contest, Alabama’s only other losses over the stretch have come at then-No. 21 Penn State (lost 73-71 on Dec. 14) and at Florida (lost 104-98 in double overtime on Jan. 4).

The Broadcast

  • Wednesday’s game will be televised on ESPN2 with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Andy Kennedy (analyst) on the call.
  • The radio broadcast can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play), Bryan Passink (analyst) and Roger Hoover (sideline) on the call. The pregame show will begin one hour prior to tipoff.

Promotions

  • Hard Hat giveaway – first 500 students through the door will get a replica of Alabama’s Hard Hat award
  • Mutts Gone Nuts, one of the top dog acts in the country, will be the halftime entertainment

Notes You Need To Know

  • Alabama enters Wednesday’s game having played the toughest strength of schedule in the SEC (as of 1/14). According to the latest KenPom.com rankings, the Crimson Tide owns the No. 18 overall strength of schedule and the No. 49 non-conference SOS – both of which lead the SEC.
  • Over the first eight games of the year, Alabama averaged 18.5 turnovers compared to 14.0 assists per game. That equated to a 0.76 assist/turnover ratio. In the last team’s last seven games, those numbers have seen a dramatic improvement. Over the span, the Tide is averaging just 12.0 turnovers compared to 15.0 assists – a 1.25 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Alabama’s John Petty Jr. became just the fifth player in program history to make at least 200 treys for his career (202) and is just 62 treys away from becoming the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers made for his career. Moreover, the junior guard needs only 34 points to become the 51st UA player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career, and the 32nd to do so in just three years.
  • Wednesday’s contest between Alabama and Auburn not only features the top scoring offenses in the SEC, but two of the top 11 teams in scoring offense nationally. The Crimson Tide ranks seventh in the country at 83.2 points per game, while the Tigers are 11th in the nation at 82.1 points a contest.
  • Dating back to the 2015-16 season, Alabama owns a record of 14-14 (.500) against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 but is 0-2 this season. The last time Alabama defeated a team ranked in the top five of the AP Poll came on Dec. 30, 2017 when UA toppled then-No. 5 Texas A&M 79-57 in Coleman Coliseum
  • As a result of its recent offensive surge, Alabama has vaulted to No. 1 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally in scoring offense (83.2). The Tide has scored 1,248 points through its 15 games thus far. With 17 more guaranteed games this season, the Crimson Tide is on pace to program’s single-season scoring record of 2,761 points set during the 2000-01 campaign.
  • In addition to its national ranking in scoring, the Tide ranks atop the SEC and No. 3 nationally in three-pointers made per game (10.7) while ranking No. 2 in the SEC and 56th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.364). Alabama is on pace to shatter the team’s three-point records for a single season of 259 made three-pointers and 763 attempted. The Crimson Tide enters its upcoming contest 160-of-440 from beyond the arc through 15 games on the year.

About Alabama

  • Alabama will play the first of two games against Auburn on Wednesday night when the Tigers invade Coleman Coliseum. Both teams rank among the most efficient offenses in the country coming into the contest. According to KenPom.com, the Tide is ranked as the 35th most efficient offense nationally (108.4), while the Tigers check in at No. 14 in the country (111.5) in the category.
  • Three Alabama players average double figures, while six average over 8.5 points per game through its 15 contests played. Junior John Petty Jr. (16.7 ppg) and sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. (16.2 ppg) are tied atop the squad in scoring average, while ranking sixth and seventh, respectively, among the league’s scoring leaders. Combined the duo produces the third-highest combined points by any two players on the same team in the SEC (32.9 ppg).
  • Lewis leads the SEC and ranks eighth in the nation in minutes per game (37.5), while also leading UA and ranking among the league leaders in assists (7th – 4.6 apg) and steals (5th – 1.7 spg). A first-team All-SEC preseason honoree, he also tops the team in field goals made (91) and attempted (214) and is shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 32.4 percent (23-of-71) from beyond the arc.
  • Petty is one of the top three-point shooters in the nation. He ranks second in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (49.5 percent, 53-of-107) and is third in threes made per game (3.5), while ranking third and ninth, respectively, in the categories nationally. Additionally, he leads the squad and ranks ninth in the conference in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and also tops UA in threes made (53) and attempted (107) while ranking second in steals (1.2 spg) and minutes (33.8 mpg) per game.
  • Freshman Jaden Shackelford also average in double figures at 12.1 ppg. He leads the team in threes attempted as 97 of 149 field goal attempts – approximately 65 percent – have come from beyond the three-point line. Graduate senior Beetle Bolden (8.8 ppg) and juniors Alex Reese (8.9 ppg) and Herbert Jones (9.7 ppg) are all contributing offensively.
  • As a team, the Crimson Tide has been outrebounded in just four of its 15 games played this year and owns a +2.4 advantage on the glass (41.6-39.2). The 41.6 rebounds per game rank second in the SEC and 11th-best in the nation. Alabama has outscored the opposition by +4.5 points (83.2-78.7) and is shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and 70.1 percent from the foul line.

About Auburn

  • Auburn enters the contest as one of only two unbeaten teams in the nation (San Diego State is 17-0 as of Jan. 13) coming into Wednesday’s rivalry contest at Alabama. Most recently, the Tigers extended their winning streak to 15 straight games to begin the year with an 82-69 victory over Georgia last Saturday.
  • Four players average in double figures to lead Auburn’s offensive attach. Senior guard Samir Doughty tops the Tigers with 15.7 points per game, while also leading the team in steals (1.5 spg), minutes (31.8 mpg), threes made (28) and attempted (84) and free throws made (63) and attempted (85)
  • Freshman Isaac Okoro ranks second in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (4.5 rpg), field goal percentage (56.5 percent) and steals 13). Senior J’Von McCormick is the team leader in assists (5.1 apg), while averaging 11.6 ppg. Junior Austin Wiley averages a near double-double with 10.7 points and a team-leading 9.2 rebounds a game, while also topping Auburn in field goal percentage (58.1 percent) and blocks a contest (1.9 bpg).
  • As a team, Auburn is outscoring the competition by +15.8 points per game (82.1-66.3) and owns a +7.0 advantage on the glass (41.9-34.9). The Tigers are shooting 46.6 percent from the floor, 32.1 percent from beyond the arc and 65.7 percent from the charity stripe. Coming into the Alabama game, Auburn tops the SEC in scoring margin, blocked shots (6.1), rebounds per game (41.9) and free throw attempts (385). Nationally, AU ranks among the top 25 teams in rebounds per game (7th), scoring margin (9th), blocks per game (9th), offensive rebounds per game (10th, 13.7), scoring offense (11th, 82.1) and free throw attempts (24th, 385).
  • Bruce Pearl is in his sixth season at Auburn and owns a record of 115-72 (.615). Now in his 25th season as a collegiate coach, Pearl owns an overall mark of 577-217 (.719).

Alabama-Auburn – Series Notes

  • Wednesday’s game will mark the 161st meeting on the hardwood between the two schools, which is the fourth-most games UA has played against any one opponent. The Crimson Tide owns a 95-65 edge in the series, as the 95 victories also rank fourth-best against any foe in program history.
  • UA owns an all-time record of 42-9 when playing Auburn in Coleman Coliseum, including wins in eight of the last 10 games played between the teams under the arched roof. The Tide is 49-9 when hosting the Tigers in Tuscaloosa.
  • Last season, the Tigers swept both games from the Crimson Tide, winning 84-63 in Auburn Arena on Feb. 2, 2019 followed by a 66-60 victory in Coleman Coliseum on March 5, 2019. It was just the second time in the last 11 years that Auburn defeated Alabama twice in the same season.
  • The two teams will play in mid-February when the Tide travels to Auburn Arena on Feb. 12 for a 6 p.m. CT tip off.
  • The two teams have played in 11 overtimes in series history, with the last one coming Feb. 21, 2001. Auburn has won eight of the 11 games that have went to extra time.
  • The series began during 1923-24 campaign.

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