The NCAA announced the Alabama and Auburn men’s basketball teams will compete in Birmingham at the Legacy Arena for the opening round of March madness.
The SEC champion Crimson Tide will be going into the tournament with the No. 1 seed overall and will play the winner of a 16-seed play-in game. Auburn has the 9th seed in the Midwest Region and will play No. 8 Iowa in the first round.
“Excited to be the No. 1 overall seed,” said Alabama Coach Nate Oats. “Our players have worked hard. They accomplished a lot this year. I couldn’t be more proud of them for what they’ve been able to do. We got rewarded with it.
“It’s gonna be great to play in Birmingham. We need to need to put it out there that we need that place packed full of Alabama fans. That’s part of the reward to having a great regular season – we get to play what should be essentially a home game in Birmingham for the first two rounds. Let’s make sure we pump that up. Let’s get the arena filled with Alabama fans.”
Bruce Pearl, head coach of the Tigers, said he was excited for Auburn fans and students.
“For our fans and for our students, I think it’s just awesome,” Pearl told reporters. “So hopefully we’ll get great support and see if we can have a shining moment or two.”
The Crimson Tide is 29-5 this season; Auburn is 20-12.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.
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