Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alabama A&M gears up to host Alabama State in 'rivalry game' on Saturday

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- The scene has changed. But little else is different in the Alabama A&M-Alabama State basketball rivalry since the days when Willie Hayes was playing for the Bulldogs.

"It's THE game. Your rival," said Hayes, now in his second year as A&M's head coach. "It's the Alabama-Auburn game to us."

And, like the Alabama-Auburn football game, it was once waged annually at a neutral site in Birmingham. Time moves on. Circumstances are different.

Both Alabama A&M (6-9, 2-2) and Alabama State (5-11, 3-1) are Division I programs now, both in the SWAC. They play twice a year, sometimes three times depending upon postseason.

Edition One of this season's rivalry renewal comes Saturday at A&M's Elmore Gym. Scheduled tip is 6 p.m. The women's game will be at 3 p.m. Tickets still remain but are expected to be scarce at the door. Alabama A&M is asking fans to wear white, to create a "White-Out" atmosphere.

"We want to pack the house," Hayes said.


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