Nate Oats is known to schedule tough opponents for the Alabama Crimson Tide. One could argue that the toughness of Alabama's out-of-conference schedule has the Crimson Tide battle-tested and prepared for the toughness of NCAA Tournament play.

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It helped Alabama prepare for a Final Four run in 2024. Alabama played Purdue, Creighton, and Arizona in its non-conference schedule last season, and despite going 0-3 in those matchups, the Tide faced the adversity that they faced once again in the NCAA tournament. Alabama faced multiple double-digit deficits against North Carolina and Clemson in the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight.

Alabama will face another tough non-conference in 2024. The Tide will play Creighton in Tuscaloosa, a multi-team event in Las Vegas, and an unconfirmed report has Alabama heading to the Big Apple to play Saint John's.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the Tide will play another tough matchup. Alabama will play against Illinois in Birmingham for the 2024-2025 season and will play against Illinois during the 2025-2026 season in The United Center in Chicago.

According to Rothstein's report, the game will be played in December.

Alabama is expected to be one of the top teams in college basketball in 2024, with On3 ranking Alabama as their No. 1 team in their early 2024 men's basketball rankings.

Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa News reported that the matchup with Illinois will affect Alabama's game with Arizona, which was set to take place in December of the 2024-2025 season as well. That game is now moved back a season, to the 2025-2026 season.

Wyatt Fulton is the TIde 100.9 DME and Brand Manager, covering Alabama Crimson Tide football and men's basketball. For more Crimson Tide coverage, follow Wyatt on X (Formerly known as Twitter) at @FultonW_.

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