- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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The University of Alabama will face some stern competition early on in the basketball season as it participates in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Crimson Tide will face Oregon State on Nov. 15 in the first game of the tournament that will air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. The second game will feature Villanova against Purdue at 9:30 p.m.
The third-place game will take place the following night at 5 p.m. on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The championship game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Last season Alabama competed in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and won the tournament, beating Maryland, Wichita State and Purdue. Alabama went on to finish the regular season fifth in the SEC and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. Alabama lost to Creighton in the first round and finished the year 21-12 overall.
Alabama's first-round opponent in the 2K Sports Classic, Oregon State, had its best season since 1989 when the Beavers won 22 games. Oregon State's season ended with a third-round loss to Washington State in College Basketball Invitational.
Purdue closed the season strong by advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers, who finished 22-13, lost to the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks by three points.
Villanova had a subpar year, finishing 13-19 overall and 5-13 in the Big East. It was the first season the Wildcats did not reach the NCAA tournament since 2004.