Memphis Basketball Notes Vs. Connecticut/American Tournament
Go Tigers!
Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

March 12, 2014


  #19/19 Memphis (23-8, 12-6) vs #21/21 Connecticut (24-7, 12-6)
  Thursday, March 13 - 8 p.m. CT | FedExForum | American Athletic Conference Championship
 #19/19 Memphis Tigers (23-8, 12-6 The American)
 #21/21 Connecticut Huskies (24-7, 12-6 The American)
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Television: ESPNU (Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Doris Burke, analyst; Andy Katz, reporter)/Memphis Comcast channel 228
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The Last Meeting
#24/RV Connecticut86(ot)
February 15, 2014
Hartford, Conn.
No. 20 Memphis Comes Up Short to No. 24 UConn on the Road
A season-high 24 points from Joe Jackson was not enough for the No. 20 University of Memphis men's basketball team (19-6, 8-4 American) as they dropped an 86-81 decision to No. 24 UConn (20-5, 8-4 American) in overtime Saturday afternoon at the XL Center.

• Memphis (23-8, 12-6 The American) opens play in the American Athletic Conference Championship Mar. 13 against Connecticut (24-7, 12-6 The American).
• ESPNU is televising Thursday's 8 p.m. (CT) American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal contest from FedExForum. The Memphis-Connecticut game can be viewed via the web at
• The Tigers enter Thursday's conference postseason tournament contest having won four of their last six games. In that stretch, Memphis posted wins over Rutgers, Temple, No. 7/4 Louisville and No. 18/18 SMU and dropped road decisions at Houston and No. 15/15 Cincinnati.
• The Tigers remained in the Associated Press (AP) poll released Mar. 10 in the No. 19 spot. Memphis has appeared in all 19 AP polls this season. For a fifth-straight week, Memphis also remained in the USA Today coaches poll at No. 19. Connecticut is ranked No. 21 in both the AP and coaches' polls.
• Memphis has won seven of its last 10 games entering Thursday's encounter. All three Tigers' losses in the last 10 contests were road games at Connecticut, Houston and Cincinnati.
• The Tigers are 15-2 in overall home games and 7-2 in American Athletic Conference play at FedExForum in 2013-14.
• The Huskies are 6-4 in true road games this season, with all four losses coming in the conference at Houston, SMU, Cincinnati and Louisville.
• Connecticut is 9-4 in games played away from Storrs and Hartford. In addition to their 6-4 true road record, the Huskies defeated Maryland, Boston College and Indiana on neutral courts.

• Connecticut posted a 20-10 overall record and a 10-8 BIG EAST Conference mark in 2012-13.
• The Huskies tied for seventh place in the BIG EAST Conference regular-season standings.
• Connecticut was ineligible for 2013 postseason play.

• Connecticut brings a 24-7 overall record into Thursday's American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal contest.
• The Huskies tied for third in the league's regular-season standings with a 12-6 conference mark. Connecticut tied for third with Memphis and SMU.
• The Huskies enter this week's American Athletic Conference Championship having won seven of their last nine games. The setbacks in that stretch were to SMU 64-55 at home Feb. 23 and at Louisville 81-48 Mar. 8.
• Five of the seven Connecticut setbacks were by single digits this season.
• Shabazz Napier was a unanimous pick to the 2013-14 All-American Athletic Conference first team released Mar. 11.
• Napier leads three Huskies averaging double figures at 17.8 ppg (second in The American).
• DeAndre Daniels (12.3 ppg) and Boatright (12.0 ppg) are Connecticut's other two double-figure scorers.
• Napier is the squad's top rebounder (6.0 rpg; 13th in The American) and top playmaker (5.2 apg; second in The American).
• Napier also leads the Huskies and is third in The American in steals (1.8 spg; 57 total).
• Three Huskies -- Niels Giffey (50 percent), Daniels (42.9) and Napier (40.4) -- shoot over 40 percent from the three-point arc.
• Connecticut is shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 38.4 percent from the arc and 76.3 percent from the free throw line.
• Among the NCAA team statistical leaders, Connecticut is 38th in three-point field goal and eighth in free throw percentage.
• The Huskies are out-rebounding their opponents by a narrow margin of +0.6 boards per game (35.6-35.0).
• Head coach Kevin Ollie is in his second season at Connecticut. He has a 44-17 record at the school.

• Both head coaches in Thursday's Memphis-Connecticut American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal match-up have NCAA title rings.
• Memphis head coach Josh Pastner won his NCAA title as a player on the 1996-97 Arizona squad. Arizona defeated Kentucky for the championship.
• Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie won his NCAA championship ring in 2010-11 as an assistant on Jim Calhoun's staff. The Huskies defeated Butler 53-41 for the crown.

• For its first 110 seasons of basketball, Connecticut did not step foot in the city of Memphis to play a game.
• But, in their 111th campaign, the Huskies are playing in the Bluff City for a second time this season when they meet Memphis in an American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal game Thursday, Mar. 13 at FedExForum.
• Earlier this season (Jan. 16), Connecticut made its first trip to play a game in the city of Memphis in its history. The Huskies won that contest 83-73.

• While it's their second trip to Memphis, it's the Huskies' fourth overall to the state of Tennessee.
• Prior to this season's earlier visit to Memphis Jan. 16, Connecticut made a recent trip to Tennessee to play on the other side of the state.
• In the 2011-12 season, the Huskies played the Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn., and dropped a 60-57 decision (Jan. 21, 2012).
• Connecticut also traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to play Vanderbilt in 2002-03. The Huskies posted a 76-70 win over the Commodores Dec. 1, 2002.

• In their history, the Tigers have played four of the seven NCAA Division I schools from the state of Connecticut.
• Memphis has a 3-3 record (.500 winning percentage) against NCAA Division I programs located in the state of Connecticut.
• The Tigers have played Central Connecticut (0-1), Connecticut (1-2), Fairfield (1-0) and Yale (1-0). Memphis has not played Hartford, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart.

• Thursday's American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal contest features a battle on the glass between two teams ranked in the middle of the league in rebound margin.
• The Tigers are fourth in the league with a +2.8 rebound margin, while Connecticut is sixth at +0.6.
• And, in league games only, Memphis and Connecticut are in the top-five in the conference.
• In league games only, the Tigers are first at +2.3. The Huskies are fifth at +0.7 in rebound margin in conference games only.
• In the Jan. 16 meeting, Connecticut won the board battle 34-27. But, in the Feb. 15 rematch, Memphis out-rebounded the Huskies 38-28.

• Thursday's American Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinal game may come down to which team wins the shooting battles from the field and arc. • In the field goal percentage match-up, the Tigers are second in the American Athletic Conference at 48.5 percent. However, Connecticut is the league's second-best field goal percentage defense squad, holding its opponents to 39.1 percent. • From the arc, the Huskies lead The American and are 38th in the nation with a 38.4 three-point field goal percentage. But, Memphis has the conference's second-best, three-point field goal percentage defense at 30.1 percent.

• For the fifth time in their history, the Tigers are playing in an inaugural conference postseason tournament when they begin play in the American Athletic Conference Championship Thursday.
• In previous seasons, Memphis participated in postseason league championships in the Mississippi Valley Conference, Metro Conference, Great Midwest Conference and Conference USA.
• Memphis has a 7-4 record (.636 winning percentage) in its previous four inaugural postseason conference tournaments.
• In three of the previous four league tournaments, the Tigers advanced to the title game, but lost all three.
• The following shows how Memphis fared in its previous four inaugural postseason conference tournaments:

	Year/Conference	Record	Title Game
1996/Conference USA 1-1 No
1992/Great Midwest 2-1 Yes (L)
1976/Metro 2-1 Yes (L)
1928/Mississippi Valley 2-1 Yes (L)

• The Tigers are playing in their fifth conference postseason tournament when they open play in the American Athletic Conference Championship Thursday.
• In its previous four leagues that held postseason tournaments, Memphis had a 68-32 all-time record (.680 winning percentage).
• The following shows Memphis' postseason tournament records and championships by conference:

	Conference/Years	Record	Titles
Conference USA/1996-2013 28-11 7
Great Midwest/1992-95 5-4 0
Metro/1976-91 24-12 4
Mississippi Valley/1928-33 11-5 1

• The Tigers have been on a roll in recent conference postseason tournaments.
• In its last nine conference postseason classics (all in Conference USA), Memphis posted an impressive 24-2 record (.923 winning percentage).
• During that stretch, the Tigers won seven conference postseason tournament titles (2006-09, 2011-13) and played in an eighth league tournament championship game (2005).

• The Tigers have an all-time record of 31-8 (.795 winning percentage) in conference postseason tournament games played in the Bluff City.
• Memphis has won six league tournaments on its home floor.
• The following shows the Tigers' record in conference tournaments hosted in Memphis:

Conference	Record Inside	No. of
Memphis Titles
C-USA 20-3 5
Great Midwest 1-1 0
Metro 7-3 1
Mississippi Valley 3-1 0
Total 31-8 6

• Tiger Nation sure hopes so.
• Memphis enters this week's American Athletic Conference Championship as the tournament's No. 5 seed.
• The last three times they were a No. 4 seed or lower (2001, 2005, 2011), the Tigers won at least one game in the conference postseason tournament.
• In 2005 and 2011, Memphis did more than win one game in the conference postseason tournament.
• The 2005 Tigers, a No. 7 seed, got on a roll and advanced to the Conference USA championship game, where they dropped a heart-breaking 75-74 decision to Louisville.
• As the No. 4 seed in the 2011 C-USA Championship, the Tigers put together a run for the ages in Memphis lore. The Tigers overcame an 11-point deficit in the final minutes for a thrilling 67-66 victory over UTEP on the Miners' homecourt.

• When the Mar. 10 Associated Press (AP) poll was released, the Tigers found themselves in the No. 19 spot.
• Memphis has been ranked in all 19 AP polls in 2013-14.
• The Tigers are one of nine programs in the nation to be ranked in all 19 AP polls this season.
• The other eight programs are Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, Syracuse and Wichita State.

• During the season, ESPN has "Rivalry Week," "Homecourt Week," and "Bracket Builder Week."
• Well, Memphis is in the midst of its own week called "Ranked Week Plus."
• When they face No. 21/21 Connecticut Thursday, the Tigers will meet their fourth-straight ranked opponent.
• Memphis began this stretch of playing ranked foes Mar. 1 against No. 7/4 Louisville (72-66 win).
• The Tigers then played No. 15/15 Cincinnati Mar. 6 (97-84 loss) and No. 18/18 SMU Mar. 8 (67-58 win).
• The last time Memphis played four-consecutive ranked opponents was the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers played No. 19 Michigan State, No. 6 Texas, No. 3 UCLA and No. 5 Kansas.
• However, if looking for a similar stretch of ranked opponents prior to the NCAA Tournament, one has to go back to the 1977-78 season.
• That season, Memphis played four-straight ranked opponents in the regular season. The Tigers faced No. 2 Arkansas, No. 10 Louisville and No. 19 Cincinnati in back-to-back games from Dec. 31, 1977 through Jan. 21, 1978.
• If they are fortunate to win Thursday's game versus Connecticut, the Tigers could possibly face a fifth-straight ranked opponent in Cincinnati.
• If that happens, it would be the first time in program history that Memphis would play five-consecutive ranked foes.



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