By Derek DeBurger

No. 20 Louisville will face off against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Betty Chancellor Classic. This will be the first of three round-robin matchups in Texas.

Alabama is a difficult team to evaluate. The Tide’s schedule has been a certified cake-walk, but one that they’ve cruised through with their closest margin of victory being a couple of 29-point victories. Regardless of the level of competition, the Tide are an undefeated Power-Six team and need to be taken seriously.

Due to the easy schedule, it can be difficult to distinguish what Alabama’s strengths and weaknesses are. Most glaring is probably the fact the Tide has not trailed once this season; they have led or been tied every minute of their five games, and the ties usually only occur at the very start.

Alabama has also turned its opponents over at an alarming rate. In their five games, the lowest amount of turnovers the Tide have forced is 17. To reiterate, that’s the fewest they’ve forced in a game. For a Cards team that has yet to keep their own turnovers under control, that could potentially spell trouble.

On the flip side, something the Tide have not been able to excel at in their five games is three-point shooting. Their shooting from deep has improved in the early season since the season opener, but never more than 35.3% in any game.

Alabama’s top option is guard Sarah Ashlee Barker. She’s the leading scorer for the Tide, reaching double-digit points in every game this season. Barker also possesses a unique rebounding ability for a guard even though she stands at six feet tall. Louisville has the height from wings to match up with her with Sydney Taylor and Kiki Jefferson, so it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Jeff Walz attacks her.

It’s hard to tell how this game will go, but if the Cards can limit turnovers and keep Alabama out of the paint I’ve got a good feeling they will come out on top in their first game in Texas.