Alabama and Auburn to Kick off NCAA Tournament in Birmingham Today

Alabama Guard Rylan Griffen (3) passes the ball against Texas A&M at Reed Arena in Tuscaloosa, AL on Saturday, Mar 4, 2023.

In an unlikely turn of events, the NCAA selection committee placed both the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers at the Legacy Arena site in Birmingham, Alabama for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. For the first time in program history, Alabama earned a #1 overall seed and will take on Texas A&M Corpus Christi this afternoon, while 9 seeded Auburn will take on the 8 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes.

Alabama received a pretty favorable draw after receiving the #1 seed, avoiding strong #5 seeds such as Duke, #2 seeds such as UCLA and Texas, and should be able to at least get to the Elite 8 barring a big upset. The Tigers, whose tournament hopes were once in jeopardy, get the benefit of playing essentially home games in Birmingham.

If the Tigers can defeat Iowa, they will likely have a shot to take down who is arguably the favorite to win the whole thing, the Houston Cougars, in what will be a heavily Auburn crowd. Of course, one game must be taken at a time in March, but Auburn has to like their chances of taking down Houston more so than they would if the game were at a true neutral site.

As for Alabama, they will have a shot to cruise into the Sweet 16 by taking down Corpus Christi followed by the winner of West Virginia against Maryland, which is currently being played. One thing is for sure, Legacy Arena is going to be a sea of Crimson and Orange all weekend!