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— The Alabama men’s basketball team will face off against its own rivals Saturday night at the Birmingham Arena, and it will be the first time the Crimson Tide has faced any of its rival teams since the 2001-02 season.
The Crimson Tide are set to open the season on the road against Arkansas State on Wednesday night and play at Arkansas on Saturday, with both teams in need of victories.
If Alabama loses either game, it will miss out on the SEC Tournament for the first-time since 2010.
The first-round matchup between Alabama and Arkansas State will be played at 7 p.m.
ET at the Bobby Dodd Arena.
The game will be televised on SEC Network.
The game between Alabama, which is No. 1 in the nation, and Arkansas will be a rematch of the 2014 national championship game.
The Crimson Tide won the national title in 2013 but lost in the second round in 2014 to Texas Tech, while the Razorbacks won in 2015.
Both teams have been in the hunt for the SEC tournament in the past.
The Razorbacks finished No. 2 in the final polls last season, while Alabama finished No, 1 in both of the first two polls.
The winner of the SEC title game will then host the national championship.
In the previous meeting, the Razorback won the title game 52-53.
Arkansas State won the series 73-70 in the regular season.