Conference: Conference USA (25-9)
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Famous Alum: Fred Thompson, Kathy Bates, Dan Uggla, and Wink Martindale.
They’re In! Memphis is back after a one year absence from the tournament, and lost to Missouri in the Regional Semis in 2009. They played for a national title in a game they had until they missed free throws against Kansas, and also reached the Final Four in 1985 (lost to Cinderella Villanova) and lost in the title game in 1973 to Bill Walton and the UCLA Bruins.
School’s Leading Scorer: Keith Lee (2,408 points), who played on the 1985 Final Four team.
Resume: wins over Gonzaga and UAB, twice. Lost to Kansas, Georgetown and Tennessee.
Tiger Cubs: All coaches like to talk about how young their team is, but Memphis is the youngest in the tournament. Their 13-1 mark in games decided by 5 points or less belies their youth, but they also had several uneven performances and tended to play to the level of their competition. Joe Jackson, Will Barton, Antonio Barton, Tarik Black and Chris Crawford are all freshmen. I do question why two guys that are shooting 28% from 3 point range are leading the team, by far, in three point attempts.
All-Important Rankings: 30 (RPI), 92 (Pomeroy), 75 (Sagarin)
Projected Seed: #11 or #12 seed
Twitter: L. Jason Smith (@TheCAJasonSmith) covers Memphis basketball for the Commercial Appeal.
Others with their dance ticket in hand: