Very rarely can a team win 22 straight games, dominate their own conference, and be ranked in the top 25, while still flying under the radar. Memphis has done just that in the C-USA this season.
The Tigers defeated Tulane in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament Thursday, mostly because of an outstanding night of career highs for Chris Crawford, who now comes off the bench for Memphis. Crawford set a career-high with 24 points and six 3-pointers for the Tigers.
It may be time to start giving Memphis a little credit for the magnificent run they’ve went on of late, as well as Crawford for his recent performances. in the last four games, Crawford is averaging 19.5 points, after averaging 8.3 points per game in the 24 previous games.
The Tigers found momentum early in the season when the team’s chemistry became stronger than ever, leaving conference play, and the second half of the season, easy tasks. Many teams are still trying to “find themselves” even a few weeks away from the start of the NCAA tournament.
Memphis should not only be considered an NCAA tournament contender, but also one of the front-runners to win their region. The C-USA might not have the most difficult competition for conference play but 22 wins in a row is astonishing for any team, in any conference.
Memphis (28-4) moves on to the semifinal round of the conference tournament to face East Carolina on Friday.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, covering the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.