Ohio State To Open 2023 Emerald Coast Classic Against Alabama

Ohio State’s 2023-24 non-conference slate, which already includes a pair of Power Six opponents in West Virginia and Texas A&M, was made even more difficult on Tuesday.

The pairings for the 2023 Emerald Coast Classic, which takes place on the campus of Northwest Florida State College on Nov. 24-25, were announced Tuesday with Ohio State set to play Alabama in the semifinal on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The Buckeyes would then play either Oregon or Santa Clara in the championship or third-place game, depending on the results of both matchups, with the championship set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 25 and the third-place game to tip-off at 4 p.m.

It will mark the seventh all-time meeting between the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide, with the last matchup resulting in a 54-48 win for Alabama on Nov. 29, 2002. The Buckeyes and Crimson Tide have split their six all-time matchups, but Alabama has claimed each of the last two games. Ohio State is also 2-0 against Oregon and 1-1 against Santa Clara, according to Sports Reference.

The Crimson Tide are coming off one of the best seasons in program history on the court, capturing the SEC title behind a 31-6 record en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but was surrounded by controversy throughout the season after sophomore Darius Miles was arrested for first-degree murder in January. Although Alabama saw plenty of success on the court last season, the Tide will be without star forward Brandon Miller, who is expected to be a Top 3 pick in the NBA Draft in June.

Ohio State will also receive the opportunity to host a campus game as part of the event, with Western Michigan visiting on Nov. 19 with the tip-off time to be announced at a later date.