Rivalries are one of the great things about sports and they're a driving factor in college. This weekend we'll write the final chapter of the rivalry between the University of North Alabama and the University of Alabama in Huntsville on the basketball court as the two teams meet for quiet possibly the last time as UNA begins their transition to Division I next season.
For the guys, it's more than just a rivalry game; there's so much at stake for both teams setting the table for an exciting end to the rivalry. The two teams are involved in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Gulf South Conference standings, the top eight make it to the conference tournament, and there are just four games left in the regular season so this one is pivitol for both teams.
"There's a lot of layers to this game," UAH men's basketball coach Lennie Acuff said. "It's the last time we'll ever go over there, we've had great, great games in the last 20 years over there, there's a lot on the line and it's a game that both teams desperately need in order to get into the postseason."
Things are a bit different for the ladies, the No. 17 North Alabama Lions are 14-2 in conference play, currently sitting in second place in the GSC and they've already locked up a spot in the tournament. But the Chargers handed the Lions an 87-81 overtime loss the last time these two teams met so they've got to be fueled by a little revenge.
"Obviously the game here was very exciting," UAH women's basketball coach Andrea Lemmond said. "The way regulation ended and we went into overtime and it's a big rivalry game; they bring out all kinds of fans, we bring out all kinds of fans but again, there will be a lot more excitement surrounding this game and I'm sure they're ready for a revenge game the way it kind of went down over here."
UAH enters this one sitting two game out of the eighth and final playoff spot needing to pull of the sweep of their rival for the last time in order to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth through the final four games of the season.
The women's basketball game tips off at 1 p.m. and the men's game follows at 3 p.m. at Flowers Hall in Florence.