Tulane beat Memphis twice during the regular season. When the Tigers beat the Green Wave 94-54 Saturday in the AAC semis, I commented to a friend, “Memphis took a while to find their footing, but now they’re peaking at exactly the right time.” I predicted that Houston, the other AAC finalist and the AP No. 1 in the country, was going to have its hands full.
Houston MORE than had its hands full yesterday. They were in trouble the entire game as Memphis rained in buckets. The Tigers hammered the Cougs in a 75-65 win, led by Kendric Davis and his 31 points.
Memphis won its first AAC men’s basketball title.
Memphis defeated its first AP No.1 opponent ever. Previously the Tigers were 0-11 against number-ones.
I guess the “Penny can recruit, but he can’t coach” people can shut up now.
With the game won, it was on to Selection Sunday, where they released the NCAA tournament bracket. Memphis was named the 8 seed in the East region, the region that has Purdue as its 1 seed.
Other notable teams in Memphis’ region:
- 2 Marquette
- 3 Kansas State
- 4 Tennessee
- 5 Duke
- 6 Kentucky
- 7 Michigan State
- 10 USC
The 8 Memphis Tigers play 9 Florida Atlantic at 8:15 PM on Friday, March 17 on TNT. The good news there is, no one who works an 8-to-5 corporate rat race job will need to take vacation time to watch the game. The bad news? The game is on St. Pat’s, the second biggest Amateur Night of the year after New Year’s Eve. The fact that it’s a weekend night will compound the problem. The bars will be loaded with douchebags.
Assuming Memphis takes care of FAU Friday, they have a date with 1 Purdue on Sunday. Is Purdue beatable? Purdue is 29-5. Let’s look at those 5 losses:
- Jan. 2, Rutgers, which just missed the NCAA tournament
- Feb. 4: Indiana, AP #21 at the time and a 4 seed in the NCAA
- Feb. 12: Northwestern, a 7 seed in the NCAA
- Feb. 16: Maryland, an 8 seed in the NCAA (back-to-back losses)
- Feb. 25: Indiana, AP #17 at the time and a 4 seed in the NCAA
So, yeah, 3 teams that appear comparable to Memphis or worse (Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland) have taken down mighty Purdue. The Tigers can too, especially the way the Kendric-DeAndre machine has been humming along lately.
Really, I don’t think ANY NCAA tourney team is a huge favorite to get to the Final Four this year. The champ could very well be seeded in the 5-12 range.
I don’t know much about Purdue but I’ll text my Big Ten expert this week and get his thoughts.
Statistics site FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions are up. They give Memphis
- A 61% chance of making the round of 32
- 19% to make the Sweet Sixteen
- 8% to make the Elite Eight
- 4% to make the Final Four
- 1% to make the championship game
- < 1% to win the championship
Their forecast model’s favorite is Houston, a 25% favorite to win the championship.
Today is National Workplace Napping Day.
Forecast for today: No chance of rain today but high 49/low 31. Temps aren’t expected to climb back too the 60s until Thursday. Ugh.
Memphis 901 FC lost its season opener to Loudoun United FC 3-1 on Saturday. Next up: vs. the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this coming Saturday at 4 at AutoZone Park.
Grizzlies on national TV alert: Dallas hosts Memphis at 6:30 on ESPN. Which is fine if you’re. out-of-market. If you’re in the Memphis metro, though, wouldn’t you rather watch the game with ya Emmy-nominated boyz Brevin, Pete, and Fish on Bally Sports South?
Soul & Spirits will host a St. Patrick’s Day party Friday night. Irish food from Albees food truck, blessing of the beer, bagpipers.
Old Dominick holds its 2nd annual Crawfish & Cocktails event Saturday from 2-6. Crawfish by Geaux Creole, music by Rooster Revival.
The Lizzard Kings play Carolina Watershed Tuesday at 7. $5 cover.
Ballygran Irish Band plays the Hard Rock Friday 6-9.