Josh Pastner is in need of a deep NCAA Tournament run. While he has his Memphis Tigers regularly being a dominant regular season force, many people are starting to come down on him (unfairly) for some postseason woes in his young career. On the flip side, the Saint Mary’s Gaels were one of the bubbliest bubble teams heading into Selection Sunday. With a tourney game already under their belt, Saint Mary’s will look to curb-stomp the Tigers out of the big dance.
What to Watch For
Memphis is going to look to push the ball in a furious fashion. The Tigers are one of the nation’s leading scorers as a team (76 ppg) and are going to use tempo to try to dictate the game. Whether or not Saint Mary’s will do enough to change the pace will be determined early. If Pastner has his guys hitting on all cylinders early, this game could end quickly.
Saint Mary’s certainly has not received the respect they are due so far. Matthew Dellavedova has slowly started to build a national following thanks to his ability to score from three states over. If the Gaels plan to compete with Memphis, not only do they need to slow the game down, but Dellavedova needs to do his best to score every time the Tigers go on a mini-run.
I like both of these teams a lot. It is a shame they are playing this early in the tournament. However, I expect Pastner to take the Tigers to the next level this year.
Memphis 77 Saint Mary’s 72
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him @JosephNardone