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MBB Preview: South Carolina vs. Alabama

The Gamecocks get an opportunity to avenge their first loss of the season as the Alabama Crimson Tide visit Colonial Life Arena Saturday night.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (18-2) vs. Alabama (11-8)

WATCH: 6:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network

South Carolina catches its first rematch of the season on Saturday night at Colonial Life Arena. And it's a special one.

Nearly three weeks ago, the Alabama Crimson Tide handed the Gamecocks their first loss of the season, ruining their undefeated record. A slow USC start helped the Tide but they were powered by a career performance from Riley Norris. Named a starter two days before the game by first year head coach Avery Johnson, Norris hit his first five three-pointers on the way to producing a night he'll never forget.

The Gamecocks will seek their revenge in front of a packed crowd Saturday night. The game is the main event of South Carolina's now annual Legends Weekend. An evening reception inside the Frank McGuire Club kicked things off Friday night. A brunch Saturday afternoon with the Tip-Off Club is the second scheduled event and tonight's game rounds out the weekend's festivities.

At 4:30 p.m., the legends on hand will sign autographs in the concourse of the arena and they are sure to be honored during Saturday night's game. Alex English, Jamel Bradley, Jimmy Collins, Nate Davis and many others are expected to be in the building.

USC responded well following their second loss of the season, defeating Mississippi State at home Tuesday night, 84-74. The win featured a career night from Michael Carrera. The senior tallied a career-high 34 points to go along with 15 rebounds on the night.

Alabama lost three games in a row following their victory over the Gamecocks, two road losses, at Vanderbilt and rival Auburn, followed by a narrow loss to Ben Simmons and LSU in Tuscaloosa. Most recently, the Tide upended Tennessee, 63-57, at home. A week ago today, the Vols upset South Carolina in Knoxville.

USC is a different team at home and there's no doubt to me that their performance, and the result, will be different than when these two teams last faced off. Hurt by slow starts for much of the season, the Gamecocks also ran into a shooting performance they simply could not overcome that night in Tuscaloosa. In front of a capacity crowd, with program legends in town and the opportunity to avenge a loss, these Gamecocks will not be lacking motivation Saturday night.