Bama, NM to meet in NIT second round Monday

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama men's basketball team, one of just two No. 1 seeds still alive in the National Invitation Tournament, will host New Mexico in the second round of the NIT at Monday evening at Coleman Coliseum The first-ever meeting between the Crimson Tide and Lobos is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. CDT on ESPN and on radio via the Crimson Tide Sports Network.

Alabama, the SEC Western Division champion, advanced to second-round action by virtue of a 68-44 win over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday while UNM defeated UTEP, 69-57, in Albuquerque, N.M.

"They're a very talented team that is very balanced when you look at the players they have, they shoot the three well and have an inside presence," UA head coach Anthony Grant said of Monday's opponent. "Defensively, they're a very solid team."

The Lobos, playing without their star point guard in Dairese Gary, had three players in double figures with Drew Gordon and Kendall Williams each scoring 18 points in the win over UTEP to improve to 22-12.

"They're a very deep team and a lot of guys play multiple positions. When you look at their ability to go out and beat a very experienced UTEP team, I think it shows what their team is capable of and obviously the competition they've played throughout the year," Grant added.

New Mexico will step into what has statistically been the toughest place in the nation for opponents to score as the Tide's home foes have averaged just 51.6 points per game and shoot 34 percent in Coleman Coliseum. That defensive home-court advantage is a big reason why the Tide is a perfect 17-0 and a win over UNM would set the school record for home wins in a season.

First team all-SEC selection JaMychal Green finished one point shy of his 21st career double-double against Coastal Carolina while Trevor Releford, Charvez Davis and Tony Mitchell led the Tide with 12 points each as the Tide shot 47.5 percent from the floor.

Tickets for Monday's game are $10 for courtside tickets, $8 for adult general admission, $4 for general admission youth and $4 for current UA students with a valid ID. Those wishing to purchase tickets can do so online at, via phone by calling 1-877-TIDE-TIX or in person at the Coleman Coliseum ticket window starting a 9 a.m. Fans are encouraged to purchase online and use the 'print at home' option for the most convenient delivery of tickets and to avoid having to wait in any potential lines at will call.

The winner of Monday's game will advance to face either Missouri State or Miami (Fla.) in quarterfinal action on March 23 with a trip to Madison Square Garden at stake.

INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics