Memphis-Tennessee: That Felt Like March, Didn’t It?

Matt NorlanderAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2008


There were nine threes made before the first TV timeout. Players were cramping up and crouching down. Dick Vitale dressed up like Elvis. Even Peyton Manning crawled out of his cave for a public appearance.

Yes, if you weren’t watching Tennessee-Memphis tonight, you better have had a damn good reason. Otherwise, you’ve stumbled upon the wrong website.

And if you are doubting Tennessee’s likelihood of getting a No. 1, think again. If this game is Memphis’ only loss heading into The Tournament, and the Vols only lose one or two more, then they’ll definitely be receiving a top line gig.

As for the game: It was basically glorified street ball.

Was it exciting? Definitely. Fast-paced? For sure. Upright-in-your-seat drama? Absolutely.

But it was a terribly executed basketball game. There was at least 15 layups missed. It’s probably fair to say that if either of these teams play like they did tonight in the second weekend of The Tournament, they’re going home.

I want to say it was the nerves, but both teams continue to play into the environment and make plenty of bad decisions.

Tennessee just seemed to allow Memphis to make some more mistakes down the stretch.

That Dozier-Dorsey rebound-into-travel was KILLER. If they could’ve kept the board, Memphis would’ve had the ball for about two minutes of game time after all of those missed shots and subsequent offensive rebounds.

They wouldn’t have allowed Tennessee to score until later in the final minute and could’ve had a chance for two more points.

Also, the foul on Derrick Rose (when Memphis was down by three) with under 10 seconds to go was such a great move. Memphis was exposed right then and there.

Some stats: 

  • 26 combined turnovers. (Though it felt like 40.)
  • Memphis had 10 steals.
  • Memphis didn’t score a field goal in the final 3: of the game.
  • Memphis shot 47 percent from the line.
  • Chris Lofton only had seven points, but two of them were the game-sealers from the foul line.
  • Derrick Rose led all scorers with his jersey number—23.
  • Memphis loses its first regular season game in 45 jumps.
  • The teams were a combined 14-46 from behind the arc.