Memphis Tigers Basketball

Tennessee-Memphis Basketball: Can the Tigers Upset the Vols?

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2009

Memphis Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 3PM
TV: CBS

The Memphis Tigers travel to Knoxville Saturday to face in state rival Tennessee in a rematch of a hotly contested game last season. Although neither team is as strong as they were last year, both teams are once again in the running for the NCAA Tournament.

Reasons why I think Memphis wins:

1. Memphis plays good defense. The Tigers are holding opponents to just 37 percent shooting from the field. And that is against the No. 18 ranked scheduled.

2. They force turnovers. John Calipari's club forces 17.7 turnovers per game.

3. Tennessee does not play good defense. The Vols are allowing 43.8 percent shooting from the field which is better than what Memphis' shoots.

Reasons why I think Tennessee wins:

1. The Vols are battle tested. Tennessee has played one of the toughest schedules in the country thus far and will not be fazed by Memphis' talent.

2. Memphis has failed against stiff competition this year. The Tigers are just 1-3 vs the RPI 1-50 and 0-2 vs the top 25.

3. Better defense as of late. Tennessee has struggled on defense this season, but has played better as of late allowing Vanderbilt to shoot just 34 percent in their last game.

Prediction

With each of the Tennessee reasons, I felt like I am stretching to find something positive for the Vols. In Memphis' three losses they have shot the ball very poorly, but UT's stats don't lend it self to their recent defensive performance holding up. I like Memphis and their improved free throw shooting to clinch this one at the end.

Memphis wins by 1-7 points

Other SEC Games This Weekend...
Arkansas over Auburn
Kentucky over Alabama
South Carolina over Ole Miss
Xavier over LSU

Florida vs Vanderbilt Preview a little later


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