Alabama’s season isn’t over yet.
Although the Crimson Tide was snubbed by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, as expected, it was invited to play in the National Invitation Tournament for the second time in three years.
Sunday evening, Alabama (21-12) was named a No. 1 seed in the 32-team NIT field, along with Kentucky, Southern Miss and Virginia. The Tide will host No. 8 seed Northeastern (20-12) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT (ESPN2).
Alabama was among several “bubble” teams heading into this weekend’s SEC Tournament. But a 61-51 loss to Florida in the semifinals was the final nail in their NCAA coffin.
“We felt like we needed to play our way in [to the NCAA Tournament] and we weren’t fortunate enough to do that,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said during a teleconference Sunday night.
Alabama could potentially host three games (first-round, second-round, quarterfinal) before heading to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinal and final.
Back in November, Alabama beat Oregon State and Villanova at MSG as part of the 2K Sports Classic, so the Tide is familiar with the famous venue.
After losing to Florida, it was highly unlikely that Alabama would make the NCAA Tournament, but the team didn’t even watch Sunday's selection shows together.
“We didn’t do anything as a team today,” Grant said.
Grant has not had a chance to look at Northeastern, but said that's all he and his team will be doing tonight and tomorrow.
“I know they played for the championship of the CAA Tournament and won the regular season with a 14-4 league record,” Grant said. “We are playing a very good team. It looks like a great field in the NIT and we are thankful we have been given the opportunity to play.”
Two years ago, the Tide received a No. 1 seed in the NIT and lost to Wichita State in the championship game at MSG.
This will be the second meeting between Alabama and Northeastern in program history. The Tide beat the Huskies 88-73 on Dec. 2, 1979 in Tuscaloosa.
Click here to see the full NIT bracket.
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