TV Schedule: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Arena: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
After facing one of the most difficult opening schedules of any team in college basketball, the Temple Owls have finally seemed to get their season back on track. The Owls have won four of their last five games, including great road wins against the then No. 22 Cincinnati Bearcats and the then No. 23 Connecticut Huskies.
Temple will have to do some work if they want to make the 2016 NCAA tournament, but their loss to the St. Joseph’s Hawks is the only bad loss on their schedule. If the Owls avoid bad losses in conference play and pick up wins over some of the mid-range teams, they will not have to pull off anymore upsets and will still make the Big Dance.
Next up for Temple is a tough road trip to Memphis, Tennessee, to face off with the Memphis Tigers, who are in desperate need of a resume-boosting win.
Memphis began the season losing two of their first five games, but rebounded with two great wins over the Ohio State Buckeyes and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Since then, however, the Tigers have failed to defeat any of their above-average opponents. Once thought to be a lock for the 2016 NCAA tournament, Memphis has entered conference play and looked shaky, something that should be worrying to Memphis fans after enduring the failures of the past few seasons.
That being said, the Tigers are still a good team. Dedric Lawson, Shaq Goodwin and Ricky Tarrant could start for most teams in college basketball; they just have to get it all together. I’m giving this one to Memphis in a close one because it’s at home, but do not sleep on Temple, who should make the NCAA tournament.
Prediction: Memphis 68, Temple 66