Surprisingly Memphis Tigers-Tennessee Volunteers Basketball Series May Continue

By Patosha Jeffery
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It was first thought that the Memphis Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers basketball teams were set to meet for the last time during the regular basketball season on Friday, Jan. 4. They have been participating in a series of rotating games in Memphis (TN) and Knoxville (TN) since the 2005-06 season.

Yesterday however, the Commercial Appeal reported Memphis coach Josh Pastner reminding the media that he did not want to continue the Tigers-Vols series.

“Can we play (Louisville and Tennessee)? We can, but we’re not. (Athletic director) Tom Bowen (and I), we both see eye to eye on this. Just like the Xavier series. When we’re done with them (this year), it’s over. We move on. The Tennessee series — move on. It’s nothing disrespectful to Tennessee.”

Who would of thought that a statement from Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen would be released today saying the exact opposite. Bowen and the Vols athletic director, Dave Hart, are having discussions to continue the series.

“We are re-evaluating everything,” Bowen said to the Commercial Appeal, adding that playing the Volunteers is “important for us.”

What a difference a day makes.

With the Big East having their issues and uncertainty, I’m not surprised to see this turn of events. The Tigers have to keep quality teams on their schedule to satisfy fans and the NCAA tournament committee.

Bowen and Hart are planning to continue discussions once Bowen has more information on how the Big East is planning to move forward.

College athletics gets more interesting by the minute.

Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery and add her Google + to your circles.

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