How to watch, listen or stream
Game time: 12 p.m. ET
Radio: 700 WLW AM (Xavier) || Crimson Tide Sports Network (Alabama)
Stream: Streaming is available via the WatchESPN app.
Odds: The Musketeers open as an 8.5-point favorite vs. the Crimson Tide on OddsShark and BetOnline.
Alabama is 1-1 against the spread, while Xavier is just 13, failing to cover the spread in the three games in which it was favored.
O/U: The over/under total opened at 150.
A newcomer to the national rankings, No. 23 Xavier is sporting a 4-0 record entering this holiday tournament, while Alabama is 2-1 with wins over Kennesaw State (77-64) and Louisiana (105-93) mixed with an embarrassing defeat on the road against Dayton (80-48).
The winner of Thursday's contest will advance to play the victor between No. 20 Wichita State and USC on Friday, with the loser of each matchup also squaring off Friday.
Who to Follow
If you aren't already checking in with Banners on the Parkway regularly, then you are missing out. Make sure to find them in the Twitterverse as well (@BannersParkway). For more coverage of the X, you can't do much better than Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer (@slrussell).
Also, Xavier head coach Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) is a fantastic follow and not just among college coaches.
As for Alabama, while they are a bit preoccupied with college football, the boys over at Roll 'Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) do some basketball work as well.