The Memphis Tigers and Connecticut Huskies began the 2014-15 college basketball season with high expectations. Both expected to contend for the AAC regular season title, and both expected to make the 2015 NCAA tournament. Fast forward to mid-February, and it’s entirely possible that both teams miss out on March Madness.
These two teams face off on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, in a game that could send one team heading towards the 2015 NCAA tournament and the other needing a conference tournament win to make the Big Dance.
Memphis currently sits with an RPI of 95, but has no wins over expected tournament teams, except possibly the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Tigers have the talent to turn their season around, but have looked absolutely dreadful against good teams. Memphis needs a win over Connecticut Thursday night, or their tournament hopes are all but over.
UConn have an RPI of 82 and good wins over the Dayton Flyers and Florida Gators away from home, but their in-conference play and inability to win on the road will hurt them down the stretch. The Huskies have won just one of their last six away game, which doesn’t bode well for their trip to FedEx Forum.
It seems that every team in the AAC has a talented defense, and that’s no exception with these teams. Unfortunately for UConn, the Tigers’ offense seems to have an edge over the Huskies’ offense, and Memphis holds an edge in rebounding. Don’t expect an exciting game, as both teams come out conservatively, but expect a Memphis home win as the Tigers continue to sneak their way towards a trip to the tournament.