TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will play its second consecutive road game when it travels to face No. 11/11 Auburn on Wednesday night in Auburn Arena. The contest, which is set for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff on ESPN2, will be the second meeting between the two in-state rivals this season.
The Crimson Tide captured an 83-64 win over the then-No. 4 ranked Tigers, 83-64, back on Jan. 15 in Tuscaloosa and will be looking for its first series sweep since the 2014-15 season. Auburn, which entered the first meeting between the rivals with a perfect 15-0 record, currently stands at 21-2 overall on the year and is tied atop the SEC standings with an 8-2 mark, including five consecutive wins – three of which have come in overtime.
Alabama (13-10, 5-5) is coming off a 105-102 overtime win at Georgia last Saturday night. It marked the most points that the Tide has scored in a true road game, bettering the previous mark of 102 points scored on two different occasions. Additionally, the 207 combined points ranked third-most in a single game in the UA record books and the most points scored between two teams involving the Tide since 1971.
- 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.
Notes You Need To Know
- Alabama enters the contest at Auburn having played the toughest schedule in the SEC, according to the latest NET Rankings that were released on Feb. 11. The Crimson Tide boasts the No. 21 overall strength of schedule which tops the conference, while the No. 35 non-conference SOS is second in the SEC only to Florida (No. 32).
- Entering the game at Auburn, Alabama has a record of 2-5 in games decided by six points or less this season which includes two of the last three contests (69-68 vs. Tennessee and 82-78 vs. Arkansas) and four SEC games in all (lost at Florida 104-98 in double overtime, defeated Georgia 105-102). Additionally, UA dropped a one-point decision vs. Penn (81-80) in the season opener and a two-point loss at Penn State (73-71). In three of those five defeats, the Tide played without its best defender Herbert Jones. In all, those five losses have been by a combined 14 points.
- UA is tied for second in the nation in fewest games played against teams ranked above 200 in the NET, which also includes three additional SEC teams (Arkansas, Florida and Mississippi State). West Virginia leads the nation and has played only one game versus a team with a 200-plus NET ranking
- Through its 10 SEC contests, Alabama leads the league in scoring offense (83.0), threes made per game (9.3) and defensive rebounds (29.3). Additionally, the Crimson Tide ranks among the top five teams in league play in assists (3rd – 13.4), rebounding offense (3rd – 40.5), three field goal percentage defense (4th – .276), blocked shots (4th – 4.7), scoring margin (+3.9), field goal percentage (.443), field goal percentage defense (5th – .405), three-point field goal percentage (5th – .322) and offensive rebounding (5th – 11.2).
- The Crimson Tide has had 12 games of 80 or more points and six games of scoring 90 or more this season. The program record of games of scoring 80 or more points is 17 which was set on three occasions (1986-87, 1978-79 and 1976-77). The 1971-72 team had a school record 12 games of 90 or more points with nine such games occurring in 2001-02 and 1974-75.
- Alabama has made 234 three-pointers this season and is 26 made threes away from breaking the program’s single-season school record in the category. The current record of 259 made threes was set during the 2015-16 campaign which was accomplished across 33 games.
- Dating back to the 2015-16 season, Alabama owns a record of 15-15 (.500) against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and is 1-3 this season (UA defeated then-No. 4 Auburn on Jan. 15). The last time the Tide won on the road against a ranked opponent came on Feb. 3, 2018 at then-No. 23 Florida (won, 68-50).
- It was announced prior to the Arkansas game (Feb. 1) that junior Herbert Jones fractured his left wrist and is out indefinitely. When factoring in graduate senior Beetle Bolden’s four games missed and ACL injuries prior to the season to forwards James Rojas and Juwan Gary, both of which were expected to play significant minutes this season, injuries have cost UA players a total of 54 games this season.
- According to Ken Pomeroy’s “Luck” statistic, the Crimson Tide ranks 326th out of 353 D-I teams. The category takes into account “the deviation between a team’s actual winning percentage and what one would expect from its game-by-game efficiencies. Essentially, a team involved in a lot of close games should not win (or lose) all of them. Those that do will be viewed as lucky (or unlucky).”
- Auburn owns the best record in the SEC and fourth-best record in the NCAA at 21-2 overall and is one of three teams in the league who are tied atop the standings at 8-2. Most recently, the Tigers improved to 4-0 this season in overtime games and 8-0 in games decided by six points or fewer when they captured a narrow 91-90 victory over LSU last Saturday. The win pushed AU’s home record to 13-0 this season.
- Three players average in double figures to lead Auburn’s offensive attack. Senior guard Samir Doughty tops the Tigers with 16.0 points per game, while also leading the team in steals (1.1 spg), minutes (32.9 mpg), threes made (42) and attempted (133) and free throws made (103) and attempted (134).
- Freshman Isaac Okoro ranks second in scoring (12.9 ppg), steals (1.0 spg) and field goal percentage (50.7 percent) and is third in rebounding (4.6 rpg). Senior J’Von McCormick, who is coming off a big game against LSU of 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, is the team leader in assists (4.7 apg), while averaging 11.5 ppg. Junior Austin Wiley also contributes offensively as he averages a near double-double with 9.7 points and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds a game, while also topping Auburn in field goal percentage (54.1 percent) and blocks a contest (1.5 bpg).
- As a team, Auburn is outscoring the competition by +9.9 points per game (79.6-69.7) and owns a +6.3 advantage on the glass (41.5-35.2). The Tigers are shooting 43.7 percent from the floor, 31.6 percent from beyond the arc and 67.4 percent from the charity stripe. Coming into the Alabama game, Auburn tops the SEC in scoring margin, rebounds per game (41.5), offensive rebounds per game (13.7) and free throw attempts (611). Nationally, AU ranks among the top 25 teams in free throw attempts (3rd), won-loss percentage (4th), rebounds per game (5th), offensive rebounds per game (7th), scoring margin (9th), scoring offense (19th) and blocks per game (20th).
- Bruce Pearl is in his sixth season at Auburn and owns a record of 121-74 (.621). Now in his 25th season as a collegiate coach, Pearl owns an overall mark of 582-219 (.726).
Alabama-Auburn – Series Notes
- Wednesday’s game will mark the 162nd 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 96-65 edge in the series, as the 96 victories also rank fourth-best against any foe in program history.
- Alabama has dropped four consecutive games in Auburn Arena. The Tide’s last win on the Plains came on Feb. 17, 2015 when it upended the Tigers, 79-68. In all, Alabama and owns a record of 26-32 when playing the Tigers on their home floor. Since Auburn Arena opened in 2010, Alabama has a record of 3-6.
- 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 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.
- Only two of the last six meetings between the rivals were decided by single digits.
- The series began during 1923-24 campaign.