Alabama Men's Basketball Will Take On Tennessee On Friday
March 14, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team will meet No. 5 seed Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the 2013 SEC Tournament. The Volunteers advanced to Friday's quarterfinals with a 69-53 win over Mississippi State in Thursday's second round.
“Tennessee is a good team,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “It’s tournament time and I’m excited to get a chance to get back out on the court again. It’s been a few days for our team so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Alabama and Tennessee will play for the 142nd time in series history on Friday, which is UA's fifth-most common opponent in program lore. The Crimson Tide owns a 75-66 edge in the all-time series and has won three of the last four contests vs. the Volunteers.
The two teams split its season series this year, with each team winning at home. Both games were decided by three points or less. Alabama defeated Tennessee 68-65 on Jan. 12 in Tuscaloosa. The Volunteers captured a 54-53 win over the Crimson Tide on Jan. 26 in Knoxville.
“We played them twice in January,” Grant said. “We’re both different teams at this stage of the season and we need to re-familiarize ourselves with them and get prepared.”
Alabama has played Tennessee 14 times in SEC Tournament play - the second-most contests against any team in the league. UA owns a 9-5 lead in such games. However, this will be the first time since the 2009 event that rivals will meet in SEC Tournament play. The Volunteers captured an 86-62 victory in that contest.
The Crimson Tide arrived in Nashville on Wednesday evening and spent Thursday morning doing "Timeout In The Community," which is a new outreach initiative by the SEC. The program allows institutions the opportunity to give back in a more meaningful way in cities hosting the men's and women's basketball tournaments.
Alabama went to Eakin Elementary School where players, coaches and staff members spent an hour reading to kids who ranged from kindergarten to fourth grade. The team also talked about the importance of staying in school, answered questions, signed autographs and even taught the local children how to properly say "Roll Tide!"
After taking in the first half of the Tennessee-Mississippi State game on Thursday afternoon, the Tide relaxed before heading out to practice where it went over the gameplan for Friday's contest.
The Tide and Volunteers will tip off at 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. ET) and will be televised on ESPNU. Friday's contest can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink on the call. Fans can follow the in-game action with live tweets on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaMBB.