Thursday, February 21, 2008

Memphis and Tennessee Playing For Critics Respect On Saturday

In what could be the best game of this season to date, there is more on the line than just in state bragging rights for the Tigers and Vols. Memphis and Tennessee are the top two teams in both polls this week, but they are still looking for the respect that comes with being that high in the polls. Many people I have talked to see Memphis as the default #1 team because they are undefeated but others think they are overrated because they play in a "mid major" conference. As for Tennessee no on is complaining about the Vols at all. In fact, no one is talking about the Vols. Maybe its better to not to be talked about I really don't know but this team deserves some love and I don't feel they are getting any. I do know is this, the teams are a combine 50-2 this season, they haven't played each other in ten years, and tickets for this game are almost as popular, if not more popular, the Super Bowl tickets. Do you need any other reason to watch? Now lets see how both of these teams got to this point in the season.

The Tigers come into the game 26-0, the last undefeated team in the Division I basketball. While they do play one of the weaker conferences in college basketball, they also have played one of the toughest non conference schedules in the land. They have non conference wins over Oklahoma, UConn, USC, Arizona, Georgetown, and Gonzaga. One of the reasons why Memphis has had so much success this season is because of their depth. Memphis has eight players that are averaging 5 points or more this season. If Memphis are to get passed Tennessee this weekend, there is a very good chance the Tigers can go undefeated before the NCAA Tournament starts in mid March. Something also to note is that Memphis has made it to the Elite Eight the past two years.

Man has Bruce Pearl done a great job at the University of Tennessee. The Vols have played just as hard of a non conference schedule as Memphis has, picking up wins against Temple, West Virgina, Xavier, Ohio State, and Gonzaga. Add that with a 11-1 SEC record and you can see why Tennessee is ranked as high as they are. With a handful of Smiths and Chris Lofton running things for the Vols as they are ready to take down the Tigers. Things don't get easier for the Vols after Saturday as they have a trip to Vanderbuilt looming just three days after the battle with Memphis.

Who Wins?
I am gonna go with the home team in this game because I think Memphis is ready to scilence some critcs about being a default #1 in the polls and show everyone they deserve that #1 spot. It is going to be a great matchup and I am excited for Saturday night.


Stefan Ming said...

I like Memphis as well. I think they are legit and the top team, unlike many others. If the Tennessee team that lost to Texas shows up, they will get trampled on Sat.

Anonymous said...

Haven't played each other in ten years? Despite the hype Tiger High gets (and inflated win column with Conf. USA schedule, note only three Conf. USA teams in the top 100 RPI and the two other than Memphis are in the bottom 50). On the other hand, the SEC has seven in the Top 100, with five in the top 50. Conf. USA has no road venue that can match about half the SEC stadiums. Don't know if all that will make a difference, but it might come tourney time.

Series History with Memphis:
12/28/69 - - W, 72-51 Oklahoma City
12/29/88 - - W, 76-74 Knoxville
11/25/89 - - L, 72-91 Memphis
03/14/90 - - W, 73-71 Memphis
11/27/90 - - L, 72-74 Knoxville
12/14/91 - - W, 65-64 Memphis
12/06/92 - - W, 70-59 Knoxville
12/02/93 - - L, 64-83 Memphis
12/17/94 - - L, 46-50 Knoxville
12/16/95 - - L, 55-57 Memphis
12/15/96 - - W, 57-47 Knoxville
12/20/97 - - W, 68-66 Memphis
12/02/98 - - W, 68-67 Knoxville
12/18/99 - - W, 74-69 Memphis
12/05/00 - - W, 86-76 Knoxville
12/15/01 - - L, 69-71 Memphis
01/18/06 - - L, 79-88 Memphis
12/06/06 - - W, 76-58 Knoxville

Vols lead series 11-7

Memphis is talented. They may beat my Vols. I haven't missed a Tennessee home game this year and have made a few away games. I screwed up and didn't get tickets for this one early in the year. I'll have to be satisfied with TV. I hope the Vols play well and, what's the new word, 'represent'. I hope the game lives up to the hype. Having grown up in Knoxville and spent a few years in school in Memphis, I really hope Tennessee pulls it out. I'd feel better if we were in Knoxville and that may make the difference. Guess we'll see tomorrow night.

Nate Gonner said...

Yeah I messed up Memphis and Tennessee have played in the last ten years I am never using that source again.

kevin said...