mulberry bayswater sale Alabama's non-conference schedule not complete, but it will once again feature some heavyweights Wichita Stat's Darius Carter (12) and Tekele Cotton (32) defend Alabama Guard Levi Randolph (20) during the Crimson Tide's basketball game with no. 11 Wichita State, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/ email@example.com)
-- A few gaps remain, but Alabama's 2014-15 non-conference schedule already looks a lot like the one that left the Crimson Tide below .500 before the start of SEC play this past season.
There's a connection, of course, as Alabama will square off against a number of the same opponents in accordance with the respective home-and-home agreements it signed. That means the Crimson Tide will be road-tripping to Wichita State and Xavier and hosting UCLA and South Florida.
All four teams beat Alabama this past season. Three of the four made this year's NCAA tournament, with the Shockers receiving a No. 1 seed after their undefeated regular season and the Bruins advancing to the Sweet 16.
"I'm not afraid to fail," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said Wednesday. "I'm not afraid to put ourselves out there because I understand the vision I have, I understand where we want to take this program and what needs to happen in order for us to be able to do that. And we've got to be willing to go out and do that.
"As a league, we have to be willing to do that."
Alabama's non-conference schedule was among the toughest in the country this past season but it ultimately did the team no good. Alabama played tough against all five of its non-conference opponents that wound up making the NCAA Tournament -- Oklahoma, Duke, Wichita State, Xavier and UCLA -- but it came up short at each opportunity.
Alabama went 6-7 in non-conference play, losing two at home, two on the road and three at neutral sites. Its best win came against Georgia State, which finished the season 25-8 with a 76 RPI.
"As always what you have to do when you do this is you have to win," Grant said. "That's what it comes down to. When you do that, obviously you improve the overall standing and reputation of your league."
Along with the back end of the home-and-homes, Alabama will play at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, which includes two more NCAA tournament teams, Iowa State and Arizona State. The Crimson Tide could also play Maryland.
"For us, to do our part, we've got to continue to play an extremely competitive non-conference schedule," Grant said. "I think what we'll need in our league is for all the teams to understand how we can help each other and be willing to go out and challenge ourselves."
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