The UAB Blazers and the Memphis Tigers began competing in football after the Blazers football team joined Division I in 1997. That series now stands at 10 wins for UAB vs. 4 for the Tigers. In 2006, the game became known as the "Battle for the Bones", using a 100-pound bronze rack of ribs as the trophy. Recently the game has been accompanied by a barbecue competition befitting the "Battle for the Bones" theme.
The basketball rivalry between these two teams isn't commonly referred to as "the Battle for the Bones", but it has a longer history and tends to be a more intense and heated affair.
The rivalry between Memphis and UAB began in 1984, when the teams first met in basketball. The two teams have played at least twice a year since 1992, when they both moved to the Great Midwest Conference and later to Conference USA. Over the years, Memphis and UAB have been two of the more successful teams in the conference.
On February 16, 2008 during a game at UAB, the #1-ranked Memphis Tigers were nearly upset before pulling out a win of 79-78. As the Tigers were down by 8 points with 2 minutes left, they went on a 9-1 run. After the conclusion of the game, an altercation between Memphis players and UAB fans occurred. Ultimately, people in the stands began booing the Memphis players off the court and throwing drinks and shakers at them as the players were escorted off the court by local police officers.
Memphis currently leads the basketball series over UAB 33-10, including winning the last twelve consecutive games.