CSU Men’s Basketball To Take On Alabama In Non-Conference Game
CSU Men's Basketball has got their eye on the Tide.
On Wednesday (Sept. 1), the university announced that CSU's men's basketball added to its already strong 2021-22 schedule with a matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the inaugural C.M. Newton Classic in Birmingham, AL this December.
The game, which will take place on Dec. 21, will be played in the new Legacy Arena at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, the first college basketball game in the new venue since the remodel began in Spring 2020.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to compete against a great program like Alabama," CSU head coach Niko Medved said, as per the announcement. "This is a game that will really challenge us as we get ready for our conference season."
Last season, the Rams advanced to the National Invitation Tournament's (NIT) Final Four in what was also Medved's third season as head coach; the Alabama Crimson Tide is coming off an Elite Eight run in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
Although not recently, the two teams have previously met once before. In 1990, the Crimson Tide defeated the Rams 71-54 during the 1990 NCAA West Regional opening round in Long Beach, CA.
The neutral-site game is named after former Alabama basketball head coach, C.M. Newton. According to Colorado State University, Newton began his coaching career at Transylvania in 1956 and became head coach at the University of Alabama in 1968. During his 12 seasons at Alabama, Newton led the Tide to a 221-123 record, won three straight SEC Conference titles (1974-1976), and made two NCAA tournament appearances.
Aside from his coaching accolades, Newton was the first coach to integrate the men's basketball team at the University of Alabama with Black student-athletes. As such, this year's match-up will honor C.M. Newton, the legacy he made and the example he set for civil rights and equality.
"I am thrilled to have two great teams playing in the inaugural C.M. Newton Classic," Martin Newton, C.M. Newton's son and Samford Athletic Director said, as per the announcement.
"My father didn't care as much about wins and losses but more about creating equal opportunity for everyone to play, regardless of race. I hope this game will honor his legacy and shed light on the importance of diversity, equality, and inclusion".
An official game time will be announced at a later date, and tickets to the game will go on sale later this fall.
To view CSU's full announcement regarding the Dec. 21 game in Birmingham, AL, click here.
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