Auburn basketball: Tigers to host North Alabama in 2021

Slowly but surely, the pieces are coming together for the Auburn basketball 2021-22 schedule.

After announcing a Tampa trip to take on the USF Bulls, as well as a back-to-back series against the Saint Louis Billikens, the Tigers have now announced an interstate battle with the North Alabama Lions.

The Yellowhammer state university from Florence, Alabama will be making the trip to the Plains this December.

John Rothstein reported the matchup on his verified Twitter page:

North Alabama represents the Atlantic Sun Conference, which had its greatest run in the NCAA Tournament in 2013 with Florida Gulf Coast’s Sweet 16 run. North Alabama defeated FGCU in the conference tournament this past March.

During March Madness, Liberty represented the conference (winning the ASUN for the second straight year) and lost to Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State in March Madness’ Round of 64 in Indianapolis.

The Lions had an up and down season, finishing the season with a 13-11 record despite a losing conference record at 7-8. That said, they streaked to the ASUN championship game and lost by two possessions to the eventual champion Flames.

North Alabama and Auburn have more in common than simply occupying the same state and being part of the same state university system. Both teams lost transfers to South Alabama, with Tyrell Jones and Javon Franklin committing to the Jaguars from the Tigers, and Emanuel Littles committing from the Lions.

Auburn basketball has responded well to the transfers, bringing on Walker Kessler, Wendell Green Jr., Desi Sills, and Zep Jasper from the transfer portal, while also adding Jabari Smith from the class of 2021.

In all likelihood, this will be a springboard game for an Auburn basketball squad looking for blood after being robbed of a proper 2020-21 season.