“Battle in Seattle” is Back: Bama and Gonzaga Set to Play
Earlier this year, rumors flew about a potential matchup agreement between the Gonzaga Bulldogs, 2021 National Runner-Ups, and the Alabama Crimson Tide. That rumor has now been made official, with the teams set to square off in Seattle on Dec. 4th, 2021. The following season, the Zags will come out to Birmingham for another contest.
This scheduling comes after one of the most successful basketball seasons in Alabama history, seeing Nate Oats' squad finish 26-7, winning the regular season SEC title as well as the SEC tournament, and making it to the Sweet 16. The Crimson Tide will now not be returning any starters from last years team due to the transfer of Jaden Shackleford, but are returning plenty of talent, as well as adding 5-star freshmen JD Davidson and Charles Bediako.
Gonzaga tore through not only the West Coast Conference, but the whole country last year, going undefeated all the way up until their loss in the national championship game to Baylor. They are projected by many media outlets to open the upcoming season with a No. 1 ranking.
"The Battle in Seattle" was an annual matchup for over a decade in which Gonzaga would bring in a top team in the country to play at a "neutral" site cross state from their Spokane campus. They had won the last five of these games before it stopped after 2015, mainly due to it being hard to find willing teams to schedule. Nate Oats and the Tide being the first to step up to the challenge after this hiatus certainly says a lot about his confidence and belief in this team.