In what was by far the game of the day—maybe the year—the No. 2 ranked Tennessee Volunteers came to Memphis and took out the top ranked Tigers 66-62.
The Tigers played very well, but the Volunteers were just the better team tonight.
The teams kept it close for most of the game, with both teams switching leads throughout both halves.
In the end, it came down to clutch free-throw shooting by the Volunteers—in the last six minutes the Volunteers went 4-5 while the Tigers went 1-6.
In a close game like this, free throw’s take on even more importance—for the game the Volunteers shot 66 percent and the Tigers shot a horrendous 47 percent.
You will not win big games shooting below 50 percent at the free throw line.
The Volunteers (25-2) were led by forward Tyler Smith who had 16 points, 3 assists, and 6 boards.
Sophomore forward Wayne Chism had 13 points and 7 rebounds. J.P. Prince came off the bench to give the Volunteers a much needed spark putting in 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
The Tigers (26-1) were led by freshman guard Derrick Rose who had a game-high 23 points and junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts who put in 14 points.
It will be interesting to see how the Memphis Tigers rebound from this game.
All season long I have questioned just how good they are. This game did not prove anything except that they are good, but not how good.
All will be found out in a few weeks when the NCAA Tournament starts.