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Alabama will host No. 17 Auburn at home on Wednesday night.

Alabama basketball: Tide welcome Auburn for matchup that has tournament implications

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Bring on Auburn

Alabama basketball got back on track by defeating South Carolina and LSU in back-to-back games. The win against LSU gave the Crimson Tide their first SEC road win this season. Next comes a big test for the Tide. Alabama welcomes No. 17 Auburn to Coleman Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Tigers have won 14 games in a row and currently stand at 16-1. Auburn is atop the SEC standings right now.

A win against Auburn would provide a huge boost for Alabama’s tournament résumé, which currently hangs in the balance. This could be the biggest Alabama-vs.-Auburn basketball matchup in recent memory.

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In other headlines …

Finding a position at Alabama

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was spotted at the Alabama football complex on Monday. Apparently, it wasn’t necessarily to interview for the offensive coordinator position. Like many former coaches have done, Freeze is searching for any position with Alabama. It’s not just the offensive coordinator position. Still, Freeze could be a candidate.

Along with Freeze, another former SEC coach is interested in the job. Former Florida coach Jim McElwain has had conversations with Alabama about the opening. He was Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2008-11.

The next NFL stars

Every year, Alabama loses multiple stars on defense to the NFL draft. This season, safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison, as well as defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, chose to forgo their senior seasons to enter the NFL. Next season, it is likely more Alabama defenders will leave early. Our own Marq Burnett broke down which 2019 defensive players are most likely to leave early.

Making a decision

It’s no secret that Alabama has a legitimate quarterback competition heading into the 2018 season. Two-year starter Jalen Hurts took Alabama to two straight national championships and took care of the ball along the way. Then, freshman phenom Tua Tagovailoa became an Alabama legend when he entered the national title game in the second half and took the offense to new heights. It will not be a tough decision, but it’s one Alabama will have to make.

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