March 13, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men’s basketball team earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament and will host Coastal Carolina Tuesday, March 15 in the opening round of the tournament. Alabama and the Chanticleers will tip off at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in the postseason,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “We’re certainly grateful to have a No. 1 seed in the NIT and the opportunity to play at home.”
The Crimson Tide earned one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team field by virtue of its 21-11 regular-season record and a 12-4 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Tide’s first-round opponent, Coastal Carolina, travels to Tuscaloosa as the regular-season Big South Conference champions with a 28-5 overall record that included a 22-game win streak and a 16-2 record in conference play.
“They had an outstanding year,” Grant said. “Their coach, Cliff Ellis, obviously I know from his days at Auburn when I was at Florida. He’s an excellent coach and has done a great job of building his program. I’m sure they’ll be a very, very tough opponent.”
The NIT berth is the 11th in UA history with the program holding a 17-13 record in the event. Alabama last appeared in the NIT in 2007 and has advanced to the Final Four five times and the championship game once in 2001.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will face the victor of the New Mexico and UTEP contest at a time and date to be determined.