The Memphis Tigers haven’t had the season that they were expecting after returning so much talent from last season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the most dangerous teams going into the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Memphis proved that against the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals. The Tigers upset the No. 7 Cardinals on a late-game push that saw them pull out off one of their most impressive wins of the 2013 – 14 college basketball season.
Austin Nichols and Geron Johnson combined for 29 points, but the real hero of the game was former Missouri Tiger Michael Dixon Jr. Dixon had 18 points, but more importantly was 9 – 9 from the free throw line, which included some clutch ones to seal the game. Memphis was able to hold off Louisville’s Russ Smith, who had 19 points, and Montrezl Harrell, who had a 25-point, 12-rebound double-double, en route to a 72 – 66 victory.
The win over Louisville brings Memphis’s overall record to 22 – 7, but they still look unlikely to win the American Athletic Conference regular season title and gain No. 1 seed in the AAC tournament. However, it doesn’t matter in the long run for the Tigers. This team will be judged on what they do in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The good news for Memphis is that they look more than capable of making a deep run in the Big Dance. They have good wins over good teams and have competed in one of the more difficult conferences in college basketball. The Tigers keep getting better and better as the season goes along; hopefully, they can continue that into the tournament.