Tigers On TV/Radio/Web Television: CBS Sports Network/Comcast digital channel 222 (Dave Ryan, play-by-play; Pete Gillen, analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (27-4, 16-0 C-USA) opens postseason play in the 2013 Conference USA Tournament Thursday, Mar. 14. The Tigers will meet the winner of an opening-round game between Marshall (13-18, 6-10 C-USA) and Tulane (18-13, 6-10 C-USA).
Memphis is the tournament's No. 1 seed, while Tulane is the No. 8 seed and Marshall the No. 9 seed.
The Tigers' quarterfinal contest, scheduled for a 6 p.m. (CT) start Thursday, is slated for a CBS College Sports telecast.
The Tigers remained in the national polls for a fifth-straight week. Memphis moved up to the No. 20 spot in the Associated Press poll and No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
Memphis bounced back after its Feb. 26 setback at Xavier with three-consecutive wins over UCF Mar. 2, UTEP Mar. 5 and UAB Mar. 9. The Mar. 2 UCF win clinched the outright Conference USA regular season title for the Tigers.
Prior to its win at UCF, Memphis had its 18-game winning streak snapped Feb. 26 when it dropped a narrow 64-62 decision at Xavier. The Tigers' previous loss came 72 days before on Dec. 15 to No. 6/6 Louisville.
Marshall is 2-3 in its last five contests, and the two victories came against UCF and Southern Miss. The Thundering Herd are 1-2 in neutral site games.
The Green Wave are on a four-game skid entering the C-USA Tournament, but three of the four setbacks were by single digits. Tulane is 1-0 in neutral site contests.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
The winner of the Memphis versus Marshall/Tulane Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal contest will face the winner of the East Carolina-Tulsa quarterfinal game in Friday's second semifinal at 5:30 p.m. (CT).
WHAT THE HERD DID A YEAR AGO
Marshall posted a 21-14 overall record and a 9-7 Conference USA mark. It was the Thundering Herd's third-straight 20-win campaign.
The Thundering Herd finished in fifth place in the C-USA regular-season standings.
Marshall defeated SMU, Tulsa (3ot) and Southern Miss en route to the C-USA Tournament championship game. The Thundering Herd fell to host Memphis 83-57 in the title contest.
The Thundering Herd received a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid, but dropped an 86-78 decision at Middle Tennessee in the first round.
SCOUTING THE THUNDERING HERD
Marshall brings a 13-18 overall record into the Conference USA Tournament. The Thundering Herd posted a 6-10 C-USA mark and finished tied for eighth in the regular season.
The Thundering Herd are 2-3 in their last five contests, and the two wins came over UCF (road) and Southern Miss (home).
Marshall is 1-2 in neutral site games this year.
Three of Marshall's five starters are averaging double figures, with Elijah Pittman leading the way at 16.3 ppg. DeAndre Kane (14.9 ppg) and Dennis Tinnon (10.3 ppg) also average double digits in scoring. D.D. Scarver (12.2 ppg), who started 29 games but came off the bench in Marshall's last outing, averages double digits.
The tandem of Tinnon (9.1 rpg) and Nigel Spikes (7.2 rpg) leads the Thundering Herd on the glass. Tinnon (No. 3) and Spikes (No. 11) are ranked among C-USA's rebounding leaders.
Kane is Marshall's and C-USA's top playmaker with 192 assists (7.1 apg).
Pittman is the Thundering Herd's top three-point threat, hitting 38 percent from the arc.
Marshall is shooting 42.6 percent from the floor, 31 percent from the three-point line and 59.5 percent from the charity stripe.
The Thundering Herd are out-rebounding their opponents by an average margin of +1.6 boards per game (38.1-36.5).
Marshall is last in the league in turnover margin (-2.6) and leads C-USA in committing miscues per game (15.8).
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
While Memphis head coach Josh Pastner grew up in Houston, Texas, and calls that city home, he was born in the state of West Virginia.
Pastner's birthplace is Glendale, W.Va., which is approximately 150 miles northeast of Huntington (2.5 hour drive).
HIDE YOUR EYES
Memphis and Marshall both enter the Conference USA Tournament in the bottom half of the league in free throw percentage.
The Tigers are 10th in the league in free throw percentage (67.2), and the Thundering Herd are 12th (59.5).
IT'S A BLOCK PARTY!
A block party could break out if the Tigers and Thundering Herd meet in Thursday's C-USA Tournament quarterfinal round.
Memphis and Marshall are Conference USA's top-two shot-blocking squads.
The Tigers lead C-USA in blocked shots (6.3 bpg), while the Thundering Herd are tied for second (4.5 bpg).
Five of C-USA's top-15 blocked shots leaders could be featured in Thursday's game, and they are Memphis' D.J. Stephens (1st; 2.3 bpg) and Shaq Goodwin(9th; 1.2) and Marshall's Nigel Spikes (5th; 1.8), Elijah Pittman (14th; 0.8) and Robert Goff (15th; 0.8).
WHAT THE GREEN WAVE DID A YEAR AGO
Tulane posted a 15-16 overall record and a 3-13 Conference USA mark.
The Green Wave finished in 12th place in the C-USA regular-season standings.
Tulane dropped a 72-64 decision to UAB in the C-USA Tournament opening round.
SCOUTING THE GREEN WAVE
Tulane brings an 18-13 overall record into the Conference USA Tournament. The Green Wave posted a 6-10 C-USA mark and tied for eighth in the regular season.
The Green Wave are on a four-game slide entering C-USA Tournament play, but three of the four setbacks were by single digits.
Tulane is 1-0 in neutral site games this season.
The trio of Josh Davis (17.5 ppg), Ricky Tarrant (16.1 ppg) and Jordan Callahan (10.9 ppg) paces the Green Wave offense.
Davis leads the team and Conference USA in rebounding at 10.3 rpg. Tre Drye is the squad's second-leading rebounder at 5.2 rpg.
Tarrant is Tulane's top playmaker with 109 assists (3.5 apg).
Among the Green Wave's starters, Callahan is the top three-point threat, hitting 37.7 percent from the arc. In a reserve role, Ben Cherry shoots 50.8 percent from the arc (leads C-USA).
Tulane is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from the three-point line and 72 percent from the charity stripe.
The Green Wave are out-rebounding their opponents by an average margin of +4.6 boards per game (35.4-30.8).
Four of Tulane's starters -- Davis (35.6), Tarrant (35.1), Callahan (30.3) and Kendall Timmons (29.6) -- are averaging nearly or over 30 minutes per game.
TIGERS' BIG WINS OVER TULANE OF LATE
Of the last 21 match-ups between Memphis and Tulane, only four were single-digit wins for the Tigers (66-61 in 2010-11; 58-57 in 2002-03; 78-72 and 78-70 in 2001-02).
Memphis' average margin of victory in the last 21 games was 19.3 points.
BATTLE ON THE BOARDS THURSDAY
If Memphis plays Tulane Thursday, the winner may be decided on the glass.
The Tigers and Green Wave enter the game as two of Conference USA's top-three rebounding teams.
Memphis is second in C-USA in rebound margin at +5.4, while Tulane is third at +4.5.
BATTLE OF TURNOVER WILLS
Thursday's possible Memphis-Tulane C-USA Tournament contest may come down to which team can force its turnover will on the other.
The Green Wave enters the C-USA Tournament as the league's second-best team in taking care of the ball. Tulane averages only 12.2 turnovers per game.
On the other side, Memphis is the league's third-best team in forcing opponents' miscues. The Tigers are forcing their foes to turn the ball over 15.6 times per contest.
Memphis/Conference USA Tournament Notes
MEMPHIS IN C-USA TOURNEY
The Tigers have played in every Conference USA Tournament since 1996, and have a 25-11 record (.694 winning percentage) in the league's postseason classic.
This is the 12th time in the last 13 years that Memphis earned a first-round bye in the tournament. The 2005 tournament was the only time in the last 13 years that the Tigers had to play a first round game.
Memphis is this year's C-USA Tournament No. 1 seed, and it is the sixth time the Tigers are the tournament's top seed. The previous five times Memphis was a No. 1 seed was from 2006-09 and 2012 (15-0 record).
Memphis has also been the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7, No. 8 and No. 11 seed in past C-USA Tournaments.
In Conference USA Tournaments outside Memphis (1997-99, 2001-04, 2010-11), the Tigers have a 5-8 mark (.385 winning percentage).
The Tigers won the C-USA Tournament title the last time it was played outside Memphis, taking the championship in El Paso in 2011.
The Tigers won the championship in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, and reached the semifinals in 1996, the second round in 2000 and the championship game in 2005.
The following shows the Tigers' seed and record in the C-USA Tournament year-by-year:
Record in Memphis
Record Outside Memphis
# C-USA Champion
* Advanced to the C-USA Semifinals
^ Advanced to the C-USA Championship Game
TIGERS' CONFERENCE POSTSEASON OUTSIDE THE BLUFF CITY
The Tigers have an all-time record of 37-24 (.607 winning percentage) in conference postseason tournament games played outside the Bluff City. Memphis has won five league tournaments away from its home floor.
Memphis won the 2011 C-USA Tournament crown in El Paso, the program's first conference tournament title won outside the Bluff City since 1987.
The following shows the Tigers' record in conference tournaments hosted outside Memphis:
Record Outside Memphis
No. of Titles
TIGERS LOOKING TO ADD ANOTHER C-USA TOURNEY TITLE
If Memphis can win the 2013 C-USA Tournament crown, it would be the Tigers' seventh tournament title, adding another to their record for number of league tourney titles.
The Tigers won a C-USA-record fifth tournament championship in 2011.
In 2009, Memphis tied Cincinnati for the most C-USA Tournament titles with four.
The Tigers won the C-USA postseason classic from 2006-09, while the Bearcats won the 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004 C-USA Tournaments.
Memphis is the only C-USA program to have won four-straight league tournament championships (2006-09).
LET'S CHANGE THIS VIBE
For the fourth time in school history, Memphis plays in the postseason in the state of Oklahoma when it participates in the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa this week.
However, the Sooner state has not been kind to the Tigers in their postseason visits.
Memphis is 0-3 in its previous postseason trips to the state of Oklahoma and the following shows those results:
BUT, TIGERS HAVE HAD SUCCESS IN TULSA
Despite its last two postseason setbacks, Memphis has had considerable success playing in the Tulsa city limits in the regular season.
The Tigers have won their last 11 regular-season games in the city of Tulsa, going 10-0 versus the Golden Hurricane and 1-0 versus Oral Roberts.
Before the two most-recent postseason setbacks at the BOK Center, the last time Memphis droped a game in Tulsa was on Feb. 25, 1971, a 94-91 overtime setback to Tulsa.
Overall, the Tigers have an 11-6 record (.647 winning percentage) playing in the city of Tulsa.
TIGERS MADE HISTORY IN TULSA IN 2008
On Jan. 21, 2008, Memphis moved into the No. 1 spot in both national polls. It was the Tigers' first No. 1 ranking since the 1982-83 campaign.
Two days later on Jan. 23, 2008, Memphis played its first game as the nation's No. 1 team against the Golden Hurricane at the Reynolds Center on the Tulsa University campus.
The Tigers recorded a 56-41 win, marking the program's first victory as the country's No. 1 squad.
The Tigers stayed in the polls No. 1 spot for a school-record, five-consecutive weeks that season.
ONE OF THREE
With their 86-71 win over UAB Mar. 9, the Tigers finished the Conference USA regular season with a perfect 16-0 league mark.
Memphis is only the third team at the NCAA Division I level to complete the 2012-13 regular season undefeated in league play and the following shows that:
PERFECTION TIMES FOUR ACHIEVED
For the fourth time in the last seven seasons, Memphis completed the Conference USA regular season with an unblemished mark.
Memphis finished the C-USA campaign with a 16-0 league record.
The 2012-13 Tigers tied four other teams in C-USA history with a perfect 16-0 league regular season.
The other four teams to do so are the 2008-09, 2007-08 and 2006-07 Memphis teams and the 1999-2000 Cincinnati squad.