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Teams Announced for Eigth Annual Coors Classic Basketball Double Header

Matchups for the eighth annual Coors Classic college basketball doubleheader, scheduled for Dec. 16, at the 10,000-seat Mitchell Center or set. This year’s classic features Alabama out of the Southeastern Conference versus Southern Mississippi out of Conference USA, while South Alabama battles Ole Miss of the Southeastern Conference.

“This could possibly be the most appealing Coors Classic that we have had with two SEC schools, South Alabama and Southern Miss all playing in the Mitchell Center,” Jaguar head coach John Pelphrey said. “This will be a great showcase of basketball for fans along the gulf coast.”

Alabama makes its third trip to the Coors Classic. The Crimson Tide is 2-0 in the Coors Classic after wins in 2000 (94-55 over North Texas) and 2003 when they were rated No. 2 nationally with a 72-63 win over Bowling Green. Southern Miss makes its second appearance in the Classic. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 after a 69-60 win over South Alabama in 2004. Alabama leads the all-time series with Southern Miss 18-5 and the teams have not met since 1996.

Ole Miss is making its first appearance in the Coors Classic and its third trip to Mobile. The Jaguars and the Rebels have met twice previously on the hardwood with both teams winning once in Mobile.

The game times for the event have not yet been determined and will be based on the television package. Tickets for the Coors Classic will go on sale on Fri., Oct. 27.

The South Alabama Jaguars are coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history. USA won the 2006 Sun Belt Conference West Division title and Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.

USA’s 24-7 record was the best record in over 20 years and the 24 wins is the second most in school history in a season. The Jaguars return two starters from last year and five returning letterwinners. USA has eight new players for 2006-07 including two who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules.

Ole Miss begins the 2006-07 season with a new head coach in Andy Kennedy. Kennedy comes to Oxford from Cincinnati where he stepped in for the departed Bob Huggins and led the Bearcats to a 21-13 record and a berth in the NIT. Ole Miss comes off a 14-16 record and a fourth place finish in the West Division. The Rebels return four starters from last year and nine letterwinners.

Southern Mississippi enters the 2006-07 season after a 10-21 record and a 3-11 mark in Conference USA under fourth year head coach Larry Eustachy.

Alabama finished the 2005-06 season with an 18-13 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide, under the direction of 12th year head coach Mark Gottfried, welcome back four starters and five letterwinners.