If you were wondering if Duquesne basketball’s next opponent, Alabama State, sounded familiar, you’d be pleased to know that they should.
Alabama State is set to play their second game in four days in Pittsburgh. The team played the University of Pittsburgh (3-3) on Sunday, falling to the Panthers 73-54.
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The steel city road trip was by design according to Alabama State head coach Tony Madlock. The program needs to accept money for “buy games” and playing two such games in the same city in a short period allows for the reduction of travel costs. It’s the reality that a small HBCU has to deal with.
” Anytime that you’re an HBCU,” said Madlock. “You got to find opportunities to go in, because these are money games for us. These games support our programs and our university.”
” It was one of those deals where we can stay here and play two good teams in the city of Pittsburgh.”
And Alabama State will have to deal with that reality a lot, almost all of 2022 in fact. All six of Alabama State’s games thus far have been on the road. They will play one home game the remainder of 2022 this Saturday against Eastern Illinois.
They had another home game scheduled, a November 18th game against Carver, but it was canceled due to issues surrounding the other program.
This is already the second long road trip for Alabama State this year. A few weeks ago, the team played three games in California in a seven-day span taking on USC, Pepperdine and San Jose State. That one required travel though from Los Angeles to San Jose. This time, the team has been able to stay and practice in Pittsburgh.
“It’s tough, but it is what it is,” said Madlock. “It’s not going to change. That’s part of the HBCU life. We love it, we embrace it, we just got to find a way to do better and to get a road win, so we can have some type of confidence.”
It’s still a lot of time to stay away from home. Madlock though had no issues with being in Pittsburgh. It’s a trip he’s excited to have made.
” Also, I’m a Steeler fan,” said Madlock when asked why he chose to play in Pittsburgh. “Big time Steeler fan.”
” When you were a 70s baby who did you like in the 70s? Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Madlock grew up in Memphis in the 1970s. Growing up in the 1970s, as Madlock pointed out, you become a Steelers fan. It was the sports team of the decade as they won four Super Bowls in a six-year span behind legends like head coach Chuck Noll, quarterback Terry Bradshaw and defensive tackle ‘Mean’ Joe Greene.
It was a similar story of fans across the country who have adopted the Steelers as their favorite team despite having no connection to the city of Pittsburgh. Madlock was no different.
He scheduled the trip for Pittsburgh and even wanted to go to the Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately for Madlock, what was once a Sunday Night Football game it was flexed to a late afternoon game, the same time as his game against Pitt, due to the Steelers struggles this season.
He was able to get to two schools in his favorite team’s city when he takes on Duquesne tonight at 7:00 p.m.