The University of Alabama men's basketball team is set to play Michigan State in the opening round of the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational on Thanksgiving. The Tide will be looking to make early additions to its 2023 NCAA Tournament resume by competing against some of the best competition college basketball has to offer.

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The Alabama Crimson Tide is looking to bounce back from last years lackluster ending to the season and tournaments like the Phil Knight Invitational give teams the ability to size up how they compare to other top talent in the NCAA.

The winner of the game between Alabama and Michigan State will go on to play the winner of the UConn-Oregon matchup which features two teams listed in ESPN's 2022 Way to Early Top 25 alongside the Crimson Tide. The tournament features five teams in total that are listed on this ranking giving Crimson Tide fans a chance to see how the recent recruiting class matches up with other programs.

There are a total of eight teams competing in the tournament alongside Alabama. These are North Carolina, Villanova, Oregon, UConn, Michigan State, Portland and Iowa State. Five of the schools involved in the tournament qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year with one other not far outside of the mix in the NIT tournament.

After a few games to start out the season, this tournament will give Nate Oats and his team to showcase what they can do on a national stage, and it will give the young roster some confidence heading into the bulk of the season if it can string together a few wins.

Thanksgiving week gives many teams the opportunity to test themselves early on in the season, and the wins gained on the national stage can sometimes make or break a team's candidacy for the NCAA tournament. Oats has had some mixed results in these tournaments and has lost the first game in the last two Thanksgiving week tournaments before winning out the rest of the way.

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