News continues to roll out about Alabama men's basketball non-conference schedule, with Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide known for scheduling tough non-conference opponents in order to boost Alabama's strength of schedule rating.

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Alabama and Oats also will schedule games as a sort of "homecoming" for its players. Alabama's game against Purdue from the 2023-2024 basketball season was supposed to be a homecoming game for both Charles Bediako and Zach Edey before Bediako decided to enter and remain in the NBA draft.

Oats and Alabama have done it again, with the Crimson Tide scheduling a homecoming game for Grant Nelson in his final year of college basketball. According to a release by the University of North Dakota, Alabama will travel to North Dakota for a non-conference game on December 18.

Alabama is not just going to North Dakota, however. The Fighting Hawks will make two return trips to Tuscaloosa against the Crimson Tide during the 2025-2026 season and 2027-2028 season.

Nelson grew up just an hour and 20 minutes from Grand Forks, which is where UND is located. Before joining Alabama, Nelson played for North Dakota State University.

"When Grant Nelson decided to go back to Alabama, Coach Stevens reached out immediately to see if they had interest in bringing Grant back to his home state for a game, and to Coach Oats's credit, they jumped on it," said UND head men's basketball coach Paul Sather in a statement from the university. "Not often do you get a potential top-5 ranked team to come to Grand Forks! It should be an awesome environment and opportunity to compete against a great team on our home court."

It will be the first meeting of all time between the two teams.

Alabama has a chance to be the top-ranked team in the country, returning three starters from last year's Final Four team in Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. Alabama also returned core bench pieces Jarin Stevenson and Mouhamed Dioubate.

The Crimson Tide also has a flurry of newcomers, with transfers Houston Mallette, Chris Youngblood, Aden Holloway, and Clifford Omoruyi set to contribute this season for Alabama. Alabama also signed the No. 2 overall recruiting class with Derrion Reid, Aden Sherrell, Naas Cunningham, and Labaron Philon.

Meanwhile, North Dakota is fresh off an 18-14 season with a third-place finish in the Summit League. North Dakota most recently made the NCAA Tournament in 2017 when they won the Big Sky Conference.

Wyatt Fulton is the Tide 100.9 DME and Brand Manager, covering Alabama Crimson Tide football and men's basketball. For more Crimson Tide coverage, follow Wyatt on X (Formerly known as Twitter) at @FultonW_.

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