Saturday update

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team defeated the UCF Knights yesterday, 81-76, with big man DeAndre Williams throwing in 35 and point guard Kendric Davis adding another 33. That win virtually guarantees Memphis’ ticket to The Big Dance is punched on an at-large bid.

Next up in AAC tournament action: 3 Tulane vs. 2 Memphis in the semifinals. ESPN2, 4:30 this afternoon.

In the other semi, Cincinnati plays Houston at 2 on ESPN. Hmmm, do we want Houston to win or lose that one? If Houston loses, Memphis’ path to the conference championship becomes a lot easier. But if Houston wins, the Tigers get another chance at beating the top team in the country and improving their NCAA seed?

I think we want Houston to win today. There’s more upside for Memphis if they do.

The Beale Street St. Paatrick’s Day parade is at 2, so if you choose to go, it’ll be over well before Tigers game time. It could be a wet one, though. The forecast calls for a 50% chance of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. High 58. Tonight the temp will fall to 51, then start rising again. Perhaps it wants to “spring forward” along with the time.

I’ll give the same warning I usually give – If you order a large beer on Beale today, ask how much it is first. Some of these places implement ridiculous upcharges for the event. Under no circumstances should you be paying $14 for a 32-ounce PBR, even if it is a green PBR.

Pink Floyd tribute band Floyd Nation comes to the Cannon Center tonight at 8. Tickets

Former Tigers basketball coach Josh Pastner has been fired from Georgia Tech after seven seasons there, including four losing ones and only one NCAA tournament appearance. Y’know, I think he would do great as a top assistant at a major program (which he did at Arizona) – but he’s too “Aw, gee whillikers” to command the respect from young players he needs to be an effective head coach.

Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream is about to be a thing.

Luka Doncic (left thigh) and Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) may both sit out for the Dallas Mavericks game tonight at the Grizzlies. 7 PM, Bally Sports South, first 3000 fans get a Ziaire Williams water bottle.

The new Downtown Mobility Center being built across from the Orpheum at Main and Beale will have 48 EV-ready parking spaces.

After a recent trip to Downtown’s Jamaican restaurant Evelyn & Olive, the DM’s Jennifer Biggs decided to experiment with making beef patties of her own. She shared the recipe.

Congratulation to the Grizzlies, who won an Emmy for Best Sports Promotion in this year’s Mid-South Emmy Awards. In addition, they were nominated for several more awards. In particular, congratulations to the TV production crew (including my friend Shrek) for being nominated for Best Live Sporting Event for their work on the April 21, 2022 round 1, playoff game 3 vs. Minnesota.

Memphis 901 FC has its home opener vs. Loudoun United FC this afternoon at 4 at AutoZone Park.

Reminder: It’s a bad idea to leave your phones unattended. People steal them and sell them at phone kiosks around town. Keep in mind, there’s such a kiosk at DGX at Main and Gayoso, so be especially careful if you frequent businesses in that area.

Brick Fest Live (meaning, LEGO bricks) is at the Renasant Convention Center today and tomorrow.

Last year, vinyl records outsold CDs for the first time since 1987.

There will be a Career and Tech Expo job fair at Renasant Convention Center on March 24.

Canopy by Hilton seeks a general manager.

The South Main Association has announced a venue change for March 14’s South Main Social gathering. It’ll now be at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, at 6 PM. There will be complimentary wine, Wiseacre beer, and Slider Inn food. Free for SMA members, $20 for non-members. Join SMA

New Edition’s Legacy Tour comes to FedExForum Sunday at 7. Joining them will be Keith Sweat, Guy, and Tank.

Your favorite Downtown bars may be super busy tonight. I’ve been told that a very well-known member of the service industry is getting married tonight at the Peabody with a guest list of 600. After the ceremony, the group is going to fan out to nearby spots.

Aggressive panhandling on Main between Union and Peabody Place has gotten really out of hand this week, worst I’ve seen in years – and I’m not the only one who has noticed. Let me share a quick story:

About 10:15 Tuesday night I walked out of Blind Bear, prepared to make my walk 3 blocks north on Main Street to get home. I noticed a guy in a dark coat shuffling his way north. I got a bad feeling about him and contemplated going back in the Bear and giving him a minute or two to pass. But I was dead tired and didn’t want to wait any longer. So out onto the pedestrian mall I went.

It didn’t take long for him to notice me. “HEY BRO… HEY MANE… GIMME ‘BOUT TWO DOLLA.”

“I don’t have two dollars,” I replied.

The guy stepped over the trolley tracks so that he was walking right beside me, at exactly my pace. “YOU SAY YOU AIN’T GOT NO TWO DOLLA? COME ON, BRO, I KNOW YOU GOT TWO DOLLA.”

“I don’t want to walk with you,” I told him. “I just want to get home.”

“GIMME TWO… NO, NO, GIMME ‘BOUT FI’ DOLLA.” My, my, as my friend Randy likes to say, lights go down, prices go up!

Now I had to figure out what to do. I had no doubt this guy would follow me all the way home, and possibly even through my front door and onto the elevator. I couldn’t allow that.

By that point I was coming up on Local. I saw people I knew, including two that worked there, on the patio. I made a hard left turn into Local. “You here for a PBR, Paul?” said one of my friends.

“No, I’m just here to get away from this guy,” I said, pointing to the panhandler, who of course had followed me.

“GIMME A BEER!” the panhandler demanded of my friend.

“Well, I’m not gonna GIVE you anything,” my friend said. “If I let you have a beer, what do you have for me?”

The guy reached into his pocket and I saw a chance to make a break. I jetted off Local’s patio and made it across Union. Now I was too far gone for the guy to chase me. I made it safely home.

The next day, I caught up with my friend at Local. “Paul, you know what that guy pulled out of his pocket to try to trade for a beer? Two crack rocks.”

And THAT, dear readers, is why you should never give Downtown panhandlers money. It almost never goes to a product or service that will actually help them.

A much better way to help those who want real help is to donate to the Hospitality Hub.

On that note, I’m going to end this post. Back tomorrow.