Memphis Basketball/NCAA Tournament West Regional Notes
Go Tigers! Shawn Taggart and the Tigers will face Missouri in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
Go Tigers!
Shawn Taggart and the Tigers will face Missouri in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
Go Tigers!

March 24, 2009

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NO. 3/2 MEMPHIS TO FACE NO. 9/9 MISSOURI IN NCAA TOURNEY WEST REGION SEMIFINAL ON THURSDAY
The University of Memphis squad (33-3, 16-0 C-USA), ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll and No. 2 in ESPN/USA Today poll, continues play in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 26 when it faces No. 9/9 Missouri (30-6, 12-4 Big 12) in one West Region semifinal contest. The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game is slated for an 8:37 p.m. (CT) start at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

CBS Sports (Memphis digital cable channel 3/WREG) is televising the Memphis-Missouri NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game.

Memphis, the West Region No. 2 seed, advanced to the regional semifinal with victories over Cal State Northridge 81-70 and Maryland 89-70. Missouri, the region's No. 3 seed, made it to the Sweet 16 with wins over Cornell 78-59 and Marquette 83-79.

Memphis finished the 2008-09 C-USA regular season with a perfect 16-0 league mark and then won the league's postseason tournament. It was the fourth-straight year the Tigers swept the C-USA regular season and tournament titles, and the third-consecutive year they posted an unblemished record in league regular season play.

Memphis enters the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on a school-record 27-game win streak, which is also the longest in the nation. The win streak began on Dec. 22 with an 87-49 victory over Drexel. The streak also includes wins over Cincinnati 60-45, Northeastern 80-48, Lamar 108-75, Marshall 80-57, UCF 73-66, Tulsa (away) 55-54, UAB (home) 81-68, Rice 80-52, Tennessee 54-52, East Carolina 85-64, Houston (home) 83-68, SMU (away) 79-66, No. 18/18 Gonzaga 68-50, Tulsa (home) 63-37, Southern Miss (away) 72-47, SMU (home) 90-47, UTEP 70-63, UAB (away) 71-60, Southern Miss (home) 58-42, Houston (away) 69-60 and Tulane 74-47. The win streak continued through the C-USA Tournament with victories over Tulane 51-41, Houston 74-49 and Tulsa 64-39 and the NCAA Tournament opening rounds with wins over Cal State Northridge 81-70 and Maryland 89-70.

The Missouri Tigers bring a five-game win streak into their NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match-up against Memphis. Missouri's five-game win streak includes its two NCAA Tournament victories and a sweep of its Big 12 Tournament games en route to the league tourney crown.

Since Jan. 31, Missouri has won 13 of 15 games. The Tigers' only two setbacks were road losses at Kansas 90-65 on Mar. 1 and Texas A&M 96-86 on Mar. 7.

SCOUTING MISSOURI
The Missouri Tigers bring a five-game win streak into their NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match-up against Memphis. Missouri's five-game win streak includes its two NCAA Tournament victories and a sweep of its Big 12 Tournament games en route to the league tourney crown.

Since Jan. 31, Missouri has won 13 of 15 games. The Tigers' only two setbacks were road losses at Kansas 90-65 on Mar. 1 and Texas A&M 96-86 on Mar. 7.

The senior tandem of DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons paces the Tigers' offense. Carroll leads Missouri with a 16.7 scoring average, while Lyons is second in scoring at 14.6 ppg. Carroll (7.3 rpg) and Lyons (6.0 rpg) also lead the Tigers on the glass. J.T. Tiller (130 assists; 3.6 apg) and Zaire Taylor (123 assists; 3.4 apg) are tops on the squad in assists. Four Tigers -- Matt Lawrence (40.9 percent), Carroll (40 percent), Lyons (38.5 percent) and Kim English (38 percent) -- shoot 38 percent or better from the three-point arc.

Missouri is shooting 47.3 percent from the floor, 35.4 percent from the three-point line and 67.4 percent from the free throw line. Opponents are out-rebounding the Tigers by an average margin of +0.1 boards per contest (36.7-36.8). The Missouri defense forces its foes into 18.4 turnovers per game (leads Big 12).

AND THE WINNER GETS...
Thursday's Memphis-Missouri NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal winner will meet the Connecticut-Purdue winner in the West Region championship game on Saturday. The Huskies, the West Region No. 1 seed, bring a 29-4 mark into the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, while the Boilermakers, the No. 5 seed, have a 27-9 record.

CALIPARI IN NINTH YEAR AT HELM OF TIGER PROGRAM
John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982) is in his ninth season at the helm of the Memphis Tiger basketball program. He has a 252-68 record (.788 winning percentage) at Memphis.

The 2008-09 season is his 17th as a collegiate head coach. The Moon, Pa., native has an overall collegiate coaching record of 445-139 (.762 winning percentage). While at Memphis, Calipari has led the Tigers to nine-straight 20-win seasons and nine-consecutive postseason berths.

IT'S THIRTY VERSUS THIRTY
Thursday's Memphis-Missouri NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 encounter is the only regional semifinal game that pits two 30-win teams against each other. The Tigers have a 33-3 overall record, while Missouri has a 30-6 overall mark.

IT'S ALSO CHAMP VERSUS CHAMP
Thursday's Memphis-Missouri NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 encounter is also the only regional semifinal contest that has two conference tournament champions facing off against each other. Memphis won its fourth-straight Conference USA title with a 64-39 victory over Tulsa Mar. 14. Later that same day, the Missouri Tigers defeated Baylor 73-60 to win the Big 12 Conference Tournament crown.

NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES TO BATTLE
Thursday's Memphis-Missouri game has two National Coach of the Year candidates matching wits on the sidelines. John Calipari and Mike Anderson both are finalists for the Henry Iba Award, given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to the organization's National Coach of the Year.

CALIPARI VERSUS ANDERSON
Prior to his tenure at Missouri, Mike Anderson guided the UAB Blazer program for four seasons from 2003-06. During that time, Anderson's Blazers and John Calipari's Tigers met seven times. Calipari and Memphis held a 5-2 series edge in those seven encounters.

The seven-game series was a close one with the average margin of victory at 9.9 points. Four of the seven games were decided by single digits, and two other contests were 11-point games.

Calipari also faced Anderson when he was an assistant coach on Nolan Richardson's staff at Arkansas in 1994-95 and 1995-96 (UMass) and 2000-01 and 2001-02 (Memphis).

ANDERSON'S LAST WIN OVER TIGERS
If you ask Memphis fans about this, they can rattle off the date and score without hesitation. The date was Mar. 2, 2006. The score: UAB 80-74.

That was the last time Memphis dropped a Conference USA game -- a span of 1,120 days (from Mar. 26, 2009). Since then, the Tigers have won 61-straight C-USA contests, which is the second-longest streak in NCAA Division I history.

MEMPHIS VS. THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
The Tigers have an all-time record of 37-21 (.638 winning percentage) against current members of the Big 12 Conference. Memphis has played Baylor (6-1), Kansas (2-4), Kansas State (2-1), Missouri (7-4), Nebraska (1-0), Oklahoma (6-0), Oklahoma State (2-3), Texas (2-4), Texas A&M (4-4) and Texas Tech (5-0). The Tigers have never played Iowa State and Colorado.

The last time Memphis played a Big 12 Conference opponent was Apr. 7 in the NCAA Tournament national title game versus Kansas. The Tigers dropped a 75-68 overtime decision to the Jayhawks

Also in the 2007-08 campaign, the Tigers defeated two other Big 12 foes. Memphis posted an 85-67 victory over Texas in the 2008 NCAA Tournament South Region championship game and also recorded a 63-53 win over Oklahoma in the semifinals of the 2k Sports College Hoops Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In NCAA Tournament play, Memphis is 5-2 versus Big 12 Conference foes in its history. The Tigers defeated Kansas State in 1973, Oklahoma in 1985, Baylor in 1988, Texas A&M in 2007 and Texas in 2008. Memphis lost to Oklahoma State in the 2004 and Kansas in 2008.

CAL VS. THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
Head coach John Calipari has a 10-10 record against current Big 12 Conference opponents. Calipari has coached against Colorado (1-1), Iowa State (1-0), Kansas (0-3), Kansas State (1-0), Missouri (1-1), Oklahoma (4-1), Oklahoma State (0-2), Texas (1-2) and Texas A&M (1-0).

SWEET 16 HAS A PUERTO RICO FEEL
Whatever it was in the water in Puerto Rico last November, it has helped three teams reach this year's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Memphis, Missouri and Xavier all participated in the 2008 O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan Nov. 20-23.

Memphis fell to Xavier in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship game 63-58. Missouri lost to Xavier in the tourney's first round (75-71), but bounced back with wins over Fairfield and Southern Cal to take third place.

ONE AND ONLY, PART I
Memphis is the only team in NCAA Division I to advance to the last four Sweet 16s from 2006-09. Entering this year's tournament, the Tigers and UCLA had the top current streak of Sweet 16s at three straight. The Bruins lost in the second round to Villanova last weekend.

ONE OF 14 FOR SWEET 16
Memphis is one of 14 NCAA Division I programs to advance to at least four-consecutive Sweet 16s since 1975. The Tigers actually have two, four-game Sweet 16 streaks. Memphis has a current streak of four-straight Sweet 16s from 2006-09, and the Tigers also made four-consecutive Sweet 16s from 1982-85.

The following are the programs to make four-straight Sweet 16s since 1975:

Team	Years	Team	Years
N. Carolina 1981-93 Memphis 2006-09
Duke 1998-2006 Arkansas 1993-96
Duke 1986-92 Indiana 1991-94
UCLA 1975-80 Kansas 2001-04
Kansas 1993-97 Memphis 1982-85
Kentucky 1995-99 Michigan St. 1998-2001
Notre Dame 1975-79 Virginia 1981-84

MEMPHIS IS ONE OF FIVE
The Tigers are one of five programs that have double-digit victories in NCAA Tournament play since 2006. Memphis has 13 wins in the 2006-09 NCAA Tournaments. The following lists the teams with double-digit NCAA Tournament wins since 2006:

Double-Digit NCAA Tournament Wins
Since 2006
(Through 2009 First Two Rounds)

1. UCLA 14
2. Memphis 13
3. Florida 12
4. Kansas 11
5. North Carolina 10

ONE AND ONLY, PART II
Memphis is the only program in NCAA Division I basketball to earn a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the last four postseason tournaments (2006-09). The Tigers were a No. 1 seed in 2006 and 2008 and a No. 2 seed in 2007 and 2009.

ONE AND ONLY, PART III
Memphis is the only program in NCAA Division I basketball to enter the last four postseason tournaments (2006-09) with 30 or more wins. The Tigers had 30 victories when they started NCAA Tournament play in 2006 and 2007. Memphis had 33 wins entering the 2008 tournament, and the Tigers had 31 wins this year.

PLAYING INTO THE TIGERS' DEN?
The Memphis Tigers may be going right into a Missouri Tigers' den when the two teams meet on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal contest. Memphis only averages 12.5 turnovers per game (third-fewest in Conference USA), The Missouri defense, though, forces its foes to turn the ball over 18.4 times per game, which leads the Big 12 Conference. Missouri also boasts the second-highest turnover margin in the NCAA.

The Memphis defense leads Conference USA in forcing turnovers at 15.5 per contest.

COMMON FOES
Memphis and Missouri have played three common foes in 2008-09. The following shows the results of those common opponents:

	Memphis	Opponent*	Missouri
90-63, W (H) Fairfield 87-59, W (N)
83-71, W (N) Chattanooga 103-75, W (H)
58-63, L (N) Xavier 71-75, L (N)
* all three games for both teams were in the O'Reilly's Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off

2008-09 TIGERS AMONG TOP FIVE IN SCHOOL HISTORY
With their 33 victories, the 2008-09 Tigers are tied with the 2005-06 and 2006-07 teams for the second-most wins in a single season in school history. The following shows the top-five winning campaigns in school history:

Year	Coach	# of Wins
2007-08 John Calipari 38
2008-09 John Calipari 33
2006-07 John Calipari 33
2005-06 John Calipari 33
1984-85 Dana Kirk 31

MEMPHIS AMONG SEVERAL NCAA WINS GROUPS
With the success they have have the past four seasons (2006-09), the Tigers are ranked among the winningest programs in NCAA Division I history for different spans of time, and the following details that:

Most Wins/Single Season
Memphis 38 2008

Most Wins/Two-Year Span
Montana State 72 1928-29
Memphis* 71 2008-09
Memphis 71 2007-08

Most Wins/Three-Year Span
Memphis* 104 2007-09
Memphis 104 2006-08
Kentucky 104 1996-98

Most Wins/Four-Year Span
Memphis* 137 2006-09
Duke 133 1998-2001
* current

ONE AND ONLY, PART IV
Memphis is the only program in NCAA Division I history to have three-consecutive years of 25-game or longer win streaks. The Tigers put together win streaks of 25 games in 2006-07 and 26 games in 2007-08. Memphis enters the 2009 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 with a school-record 27-game win streak.

All three Memphis win streaks came under the direction of John Calipari, making him the first head coach in NCAA Division I history to accomplish the feat.

UCLA had an NCAA record 88-game win streak from 1971-74, but only had back-to-back years of 30-game win streaks (1971-72, 1972-73). The season prior (1970-71), the Bruins finished the campaign with 15-straight victories, and the year after (1973-74), they won 13 straight for their 88-game streak.

For more notes on the Memphis-Missouri NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game notes, click on the pdf link at the top of the page.

 

 

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