The Crimson Tide did not make the 2013 NCAA Tournament despite finishing tied for second place in the SEC standings last year. They had a 12-6 conference record and a 23-13 record overall. The SEC was apparently down last year and Alabama needs to win some big games in its non-conference schedule as a result.
Oklahoma is coming off of an NCAA tournament appearance and it will have the talent to compete in the Big 12 in the upcoming season. The Sooners finished tied in fourth place in the conference standings last season with a 11-7 record.
Either team could win this matchup and both teams could really use the win on their resume, especially this early in the season. However, both the Big 12 and SEC will provide plenty of competition, which means both teams can get some big wins on their resumes once conference play starts.
Regardless, the winner of this contest could be ranked the following week in college hoops.
Alabama will be returning leading scorer Trevor Releford, but will be losing second leading scorer Trevor Lacey. Releford averaged 14.9 points per game last season.
It will be interesting to see if Alabama can compete with Florida and Kentucky for a conference title, but it will likely enter the season as the third or fourth best team in the conference regardless.
Whether the case, beating Oklahoma in the first game of the season would get Alabama heading in the right direction when it comes to making the Big Dance.