The Alabama Crimson Tide did not make the NCAA tournament last year, but if they can get through their non-conference schedule undefeated that will likely not be the case in the 2013-14 college basketball season. Their out-of-conference schedule is pretty challenging to say the least.
The Crimson Tide will have to play Wichita State and UCLA early on during the season. They will also take on Oklahoma and Xavier. The other non-conference games should be pretty manageable, but upsets do happen from time to time.
The Shockers made the Final Four last season and return plenty of talent to pull off the same feat in back-to-back seasons. The Bruins are losing some players, along with their head coach, but this UCLA team will still compete for a Pac-12 title.
If Alabama can somehow get through these games undefeated, there is no doubt that it will be ranked in the top 25 and probably a lot higher than that. That is very possible though.
Leading scorer Trevor Releford will be back (among other players). Releford led the team last season with 14.9 points per game.
Alabama finished last season with 23 wins and an SEC record of 12-6. That is usually good enough to put an SEC team into the dance, but that was clearly not the case last year. The Crimson Tide also finished tied for second place in the regular season standings.
Whether the case, the out-of-conference schedule will be a tough one for this team, but it may be very rewarding come March.