News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Tide, Tigers set to face foes from Big East

From Staff Reports

You've heard of college basketball's ACC/Big 10 Challenge.

Now get used to the Big East/SEC Invitational, an event created by the two conferences along with ESPN Regional Television.

The reward for Alabama and Auburn?

The Tigers will open up the event Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. against NIT champion West Virginia, while Alabama will follow with a game against NCAA Final Four participant Georgetown at 8:30.

Both games will be at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, a first- and second-round site for the 2008 NCAA tournament.

“We’re excited to play a Final Four team with the match-up against Georgetown,” Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried said. “Just today I read something where Georgetown already has a preseason prediction in a poll where they were going to be No. 1 next season. So obviously we will be excited about playing a great, great team in Georgetown.”

Added Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo: “West Virginia won the NIT, and they have everyone back except for Frank Young. For the last five years, they have been one of the better teams in the Big East. It will be a tough game for us, but it’s also good for our kids.”

On Dec. 6, South Carolina will play Providence at 6 p.m. and LSU will follow with a game against Villanova at 8:30. They’ll play at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Alabama and Georgetown have met three times, with the Crimson Tide leading the series 2-1. The two teams last met in 1983 when the Tide won 94-73 in the Winston Tire Classic in Los Angeles.

Ticket information and pricing will be available through the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and the Wachovia Center in early July.

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