March 14, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Saturday's Conference USA Tournament championship game versus Tulsa is the 27th overall meeting between the two schools. Memphis holds a 14-12 series advantage. The Tigers won the two 2007-08 regular season encounters - 56-41 on Jan. 23 in Tulsa and 82-67 on Feb. 27 in Memphis.
The Tigers have won six straight in the overall series and 14 of the last 15, dating back to 1971-72. The Golden Hurricane's lone victory in the last 15 meetings was a 72-64 win over the Tigers in the NIT semifinals in 2001. Tulsa won the first 11 meetings between the two schools from 1964-65 through 1970-71.
In games played in the Bluff City, the Tigers hold a 7-6 series lead and have won six straight over Tulsa at home.
The Tigers have never met the Golden Hurricane in the C-USA Tournament. Memphis and Tulsa also have never played in conference tournament play, as both schools were also members of the Missouri Valley Conference in the mid-to-late 1960s and early 1970s.
CALIPARI IN EIGHTH YEAR AT HELM OF TIGER PROGRAM
John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982) is in his eighth season at the helm of the Memphis Tiger basketball program. He has a 213-64 record (.769 winning percentage) at Memphis.
The 2007-08 season is his 16th as a collegiate head coach. The Moon, Pa., native has an overall collegiate coaching record of 406-135 (.750 winning percentage). While at Memphis, Calipari has led the Tigers to eight-straight 20-win seasons and seven-consecutive postseason berths.
TRYING TO BE ONE OF TWO
When the Tigers take the court Saturday, they are hoping to become one of only two teams in the nation to post an undefeated conference regular season mark and also claim the league's tournament title. Memphis took the C-USA regular season crown with a perfect 16-0 record and has advanced to the C-USA Tournament title game. The only team at this time to accomplish the feat is Davidson. The Wildcats won the Southern Conference regular season crown with a 20-0 mark and also won the SoCon Tournament title.
Last year, the Tigers were also one of two schools to accomplish the feat of going perfect in their conference regular season and also win their league tournament. Memphis joined Winthrop as the nation's only two schools to do that in 2006-07.
ALLEN RETURNS TO ACTION FRIDAY
Andre Allen returned to action Friday in the C-USA Tournament semifinal win over Southern Miss. The 5-foot-10 guard missed Thursday's C-USA Tournament quarterfinal win over Tulane with a sprained right ankle. It was the first game Allen missed this year. In the victory over Southern Miss, Allen only had three points, one rebound and one assist, but took three crucial charges to halt three Golden Eagle comeback attempts.
DO YOU REMEMBER?... PART I
The Tigers played their first game as the nation's No. 1 team when they traveled to Tulsa for a Jan. 23 encounter. Memphis moved into the No. 1 spot in the Jan. 21 polls. The Tigers defeated the Golden Hurricane 56-41, marking the program's first-ever victory as the nation's No. 1 team. Prior to this season, the only other time Memphis was the No. 1 in the country was February of 1983, but just hours after taking over the top spot, the Tigers lost at Virginia Tech 69-54.
DO YOU REMEMBER?... PART II
Memphis clinched at least a tie for the Conference USA regular season title with its 82-67 win over Tulsa Feb. 27. The victory pushed the Tigers' regular season record at 13-0 at the time. Three days later (Mar. 1), Memphis clinched the C-USA regular season crown outright with a win at Southern Miss.
GETTING' DEFENSIVE ON SATURDAY
Things could get a little defensive in Saturday's C-USA Tournament title game. Memphis and Tulsa are ranked in the top three in Conference USA in scoring defense (Memphis, 1st; Tulsa, 2nd), field goal percentage defense (1st; 3rd), rebounding margin (1st; 3rd) and blocked shots (1st; 2nd).
The game features two of the league's top rebounders and shot blockers in Memphis' Joey Dorsey and Tulsa's Jerome Jordan. Dorsey is ranked first in rebounding and third in blocks, while Jordan is second in rebounding and first in blocks.
GOING FOR THE TIE
With a victory in the C-USA Tournament title game Saturday, the 2007-08 Tigers would tie the school record for wins in a season with 33. Memphis currently has a 32-1 overall record. The 2005-06 and 2006-07 Memphis squads set the single-season wins mark with 33 wins in each of those two campaigns (33-4 both years).
MARCH IS WHAT'S IT'S ALL ABOUT
John Calipari's teams always improve as the season progresses toward March, which is the month all college teams play for. And, Calipari's teams are ready to play in March and that can be seen in his career record in the month.
Calipari has an 80-27 record (.748 winning percentage) in games played in March. In his previous 15 years as a collegiate head coach, Calipari has guided his teams to 14 postseasons (nine NCAA, five NIT). He led UMass to the 1996 NCAA Final Four and Memphis to the 2002 NIT championship.
HAVING 30 WINS ENTERING THE NCAA
Although the Tigers don't know where they are going or what seed they will have, they will enter the NCAA Tournament with 30 or more victories for a third-straight year. Memphis will be the first school in NCAA history to enter the NCAA Tournament with 30 or more wins three-consecutive seasons. The Tigers are 32-1 this year, and went into NCAA Tournament play with 30-3 record in both 2005-06 and 2006-07.
In the history of the NCAA Tournament, only 27 teams (prior to 2008) entered the NCAA Tournament with 30 or more victories.
WINS IN THREE-YEAR PERIOD
With its win over Tulane in the C-USA Tournament quarterfinal Mar. 12, Memphis has won an incredible 97 games the last three seasons. The 97 victories since 2005-06 places Memphis in a tie for the No. 12 spot on the all-time NCAA Division I list for most wins in three years. Kentucky tops the list with 104 wins from 1996-98.
The following shows the top five on that list and where Memphis stands:
Most Wins In a Three-Year Period
NCAA Division I
1. Kentucky 1994-96 104
2. Kentucky 1947-49 102
t. Montana St. 1927-29 102
4. Duke 1999-2001 101
5. Memphis 2006-pres. 98
t. 7 other teams 98
For more notes on the Memphis-Tulsa C-USA Tournament title game, click on pdf link at the top of the page.