Alabama to Square Off Against Iona in ESPN Events Invitational Opening Round

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team will take on Iona next season in the opening round of the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 28 at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando, Fla. In addition to the Crimson Tide and Gaels, the field will include Belmont, Dayton, Drake, Kansas, Miami (Fla.) and North Texas. 

The first-round matchup between UA and Iona, which will tip at 4 p.m. CT on ESPN or ESPN2 on Nov. 25, will be a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament opening game in which the No. 2 seed Tide held on to down the 15th-seeded Gaels, 68-55.

Bracket Highlights

  • The other matchup on Alabama’s side of the bracket pits Drake against Belmont with the winners squaring off to meet in Friday’s semfinal and the losers meeting in the consolation bracket
  • On the opposite side of the bracket, Dayton will face Miami and North Texas will take on Kansas
  • Five of the eight teams in the field reached the 2021 NCAA Tournament: Alabama (Sweet 16), Kansas and North Texas (second round), as well as Drake and Iona
  • Dayton played in the 2021 National Invitation Tournament
  • Four of the eight teams are seeded in’s latest Bracketology: No. 1-seed Kansas, No. 4 Alabama, No. 12 Belmont and No. 16 Iona.
  • Alabama returns to the ESPN Events Invitational for the first time since 2015 and joins Iona (2009) and Miami (2016) as schools making their second appearance in the event
  • Dayton is making its third appearance (2011, 2015), while Kansas also returns for the first time since winning the tournament in 2014

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