Memphis Basketball/NCAA Championship Game Notes
Go Tigers! Chris Douglas-Roberts and the Tigers face Kansas for the NCAA title Monday night.
Go Tigers!
Chris Douglas-Roberts and the Tigers face Kansas for the NCAA title Monday night.
Go Tigers!

April 6, 2008

NCAA Championship Central
Watch Live (FREE)
Fan Event Info
Tuesday Travel Plans
Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The University of Memphis squad (38-1, 16-0 C-USA), ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in ESPN/USA Today poll, tries to take its final step toward the 2008 NCAA title on Monday, Apr. 7 when it meets Kansas (36-3, 13-3 Big 12) in the NCAA Tournament national championship contest in San Antonio's Alamodome. The game, to be televised by CBS Sports, is slated to start at 8:21 p.m. (CT).

Memphis is the South Region's No. 1 seed, while the Jayhawks are the Midwest Region's top seed.

Memphis advanced to the NCAA Tournament title game with victories over Texas-Arlington 87-63, Mississippi State 77-74, Michigan State 92-74, Texas 85-67 and UCLA 78-63. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns for a third-straight year in 2007-08. The Tigers posted a perfect 16-0 league mark in regular season play for a second-consecutive year.

The Tigers enter Monday's NCAA Tournament national championship on a 12-game win streak after a Feb. 23 setback to then-No. 2 Tennessee. The Tigers defeated Tulsa, Southern Miss, SMU and UAB to close the regular season and then posted victories over Tulane, Southern Miss and Tulsa in the C-USA Tournament. Memphis defeated Texas-Arlington, Mississippi State, Michigan State, Texas and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks are also on a 12-game win streak entering Monday's NCAA Tournament title game. Kansas defeated Portland State, UNLV, Villanova, Davidson and North Carolina to reach the championship game. The Jayhawks tied for the Big 12 Conference regular season title and won the league's postseason tournament crown.

Kansas brings a 36-3 overall record into Monday's NCAA Tournament title game. The 36 victories are a school record.

The Jayhawks are on a 12-game win streak entering Monday's contest. Kansas defeated Portland State, UNLV, Villanova, Davidson and North Carolina to reach the championship game. The Jayhawks tied for the Big 12 Conference regular season title and won the league's postseason tournament crown.

Kansas has four players averaging double figures with Brandon Rush (13.4 ppg), Mario Chalmers (12.6 ppg), Darrell Arthur (12.6 ppg) and Darnell Jackson (11.3 ppg). Jackson leads the Jayhawks on the glass with a 6.6 rebounding average, while Arthur is second at 6.2 rpg. Chalmers (47.3 percent) and Rush (42.3 percent) are the team's top threats from the arc. Chalmers (166 dimes) and Russell Robinson (161 dimes) have dished out over 150 assists apiece.

The Jayhawks are shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 39.9 percent from the arc and 69.8 percent from the charity stripe. Kansas is out-rebounding its opponents by an average margin of +7.8 boards per game (38.7-30.9)

John Calipari (Clarion State, 1982) is in his eighth season at the helm of the Memphis Tiger basketball program. He has a 219-64 record (.774 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 412-135 (.753 winning percentage). While at Memphis, Calipari has led the Tigers to eight-straight 20-win seasons and eight-consecutive postseason berths.

Not only would the Tigers take home the NCAA title, but head coach John Calipari would tie former Tiger mentor Larry Finch as the winningest coach in Memphis basketball history. Calipari entered 2007-08 with 181 wins at Memphis, and after the Tigers' 38 victories in 2007-08, he now has 219. The following shows the top-five winningest coaches in Tiger basketball history:

Coach/Years	Wins
Larry Finch/1986-97	220
John Calipari/2000-pres.	219
Zach Curlin/1924-48	173
Dana Kirk/1979-86	158
Bob Vanatta/1956-62	109

Memphis is making its third trip to the NCAA Final Four in the program's history. The Tigers have a 2-2 record in their three Final Four appearances (1973, 1985, 2008).

Memphis went 1-1 in the 1973 Final Four in St. Louis. The Tigers defeated Providence 98-85 in the semifinals, before falling to UCLA 87-66 in the NCAA title game.

In 1985 Final Four in Lexington, Ky., Memphis lost to Villanova 52-45. The Wildcats went on to upset Georgetown 66-65 in the title game.

This season, the Tigers defeated UCLA in the national semifinal 78-63 to advance to the program's second NCAA title contest.

For the first time in his collegiate coaching career, Memphis head coach John Calipari has directed a team to the NCAA championship game. The 2007-08 Tigers advanced to the title contest with a 78-63 win over UCLA in the national semifinal. In 1995-96, Calipari guided his UMass Minutemen to the Final Four, but they lost to Kentucky in the semifinals.

For the second time in the program's history, Memphis advanced to the NCAA championship game with the Apr. 5 win over UCLA. The Tigers last played in the NCAA title game back in 1973, when it lost to UCLA and Bill Walton 87-66.

With its win over UCLA Apr. 5, Memphis posted its 38th victory of the season and set the NCAA record for wins in a single season. The previous record was 37 wins, and four other teams accomplished that. The following shows the 38 and 37--win teams in NCAA Division I history:

Year/Team	Wins	Year/Team	Wins
2008/Memphis*#	38	2005/Illinois*#	37
1987/UNLV*	37	1986/Duke*#	37
1999/Duke*#	37
* made NCAA Final Four
# made NCAA title game

With its win over UCLA Apr. 5 in the NCAA Tournament Final Four, Memphis has won an incredible 104 games the last three seasons. The 104 victories since 2005-06 tie Memphis for the No. 1 spot on the all-time NCAA Division I list for most wins in three years. Memphis now shares the top position with Kentucky, which also won 104 games from 1996-98.

The following shows the top five teams on that list (head coaches) and where Memphis stands:

Most Wins In a Three-Year Period
NCAA Division I
1.	 Memphis/John Calipari	2006-pres.	104
t.	 Kentucky/Pitino-Smith	1996-98	104
3. 	Kentucky/Adolph Rupp	1947-49	102
t.	 Montana St./Ott Romney	1927-29	102
5.	 Duke/Mike Krzyzewski	1999-2001	101

The Tigers have an all-time record of 37-19 (.661 winning percentage) against members of the Big 12 Conference. Memphis has played Baylor (6-1), Kansas (2-3), 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 Mar. 30 in the NCAA Tournament South Region title game versus Texas. The Tigers defeated the Longhorns 85-67 to advance to this weekend's Final Four. Earlier in the 2007-08 campaign, the Tigers defeated Oklahoma 63-53 in the semifinals of the 2k Sports College Hoops Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In NCAA Tournament play, Memphis is 5-1 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 NCAA Tournament.

Furthermore, Memphis defeated a Big 12 opponent in the state of Texas en route to the 1973 (Kansas State), 1985 (Oklahoma) and 2008 (Texas) Final Fours.

Head coach John Calipari has a 10-9 record (.526 winning percentage) against Big 12 Conference opponents. Calipari has coached against Colorado (1-1), Iowa State (1-0), Kansas (0-2), Kansas State (1-0), Missouri (1-1), Oklahoma (4-1), Oklahoma State (0-2), Texas (1-2) and Texas A&M (1-0).

Monday's NCAA Tournament title game features two head coaches that also served on basketball staffs at the University of Kansas (before their current positions).

Memphis head coach John Calipari was an assistant on both Ted Owens' and Larry Brown's staffs at Kansas from 1982-85. The Jayhawks posted a 61-34 record in his three years in Lawrence.

Current Jayhawk head coach Bill Self also worked in Lawrence as a volunteer assistant under Larry Brown during the 1985-86 campaign. The Jayhawks went 35-4 and advanced to the Final Four that year.

Memphis assistant John Robic also has Kansas ties as he served on Brown's staff for two years from 1986-88. The Jayhawks posted a 52-22 record in those two years and the 1987-88 squad won the NCAA title.

For Memphis and Kansas, Monday's NCAA championship game will be an anniversary of sorts for both programs. For the Tigers, it is the 35th anniversary of the school's first-ever NCAA title game appearance in 1973. Memphis lost to UCLA and Bill Walton 87-66 in that contest.

For the Jayhawks, it is the 20th anniversary of their 1988 NCAA championship team. Current Kansas assistant Danny Manning was the NCAA Tournament MVP in 1988. Current Memphis assistant John Robic was an assistant on Larry Brown's staff that year.

Memphis and Kansas have played four common opponents in 2007-08. The Tigers were 4-0 versus the common foes, while the Jayhawks went 4-1 against the same opponents. The following shows the common foes results (site in parentheses):

	Memphis	Opponent	Kansas
	85-67, W (N)	Texas	69-72, L (H)
			84-74, W (N)
	*62-58, W (N)	USC	59-55, W (A)
	76-63, W (H)	Arizona	*76-72, W (H)
	63-53, W (N)	Oklahoma	85-55, W (H)
* denotes overtime

John Calipari is coaching his 10th team in the NCAA Tournament in 2008. He has a 23-9 record (.718 winning percentage) in his 10 NCAA Tournament trips.

Calipari guided the UMass Minutemen to five-straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 1996 NCAA Final Four. The 2007-08 Tiger squad is Calipari's fifth NCAA Tournament team at Memphis. The 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2007-08 teams also made the "Big Dance." Memphis' 2005-06, 2006-07 teams reached the Elite Eight, while the 2007-08 Tiger squad made it to the NCAA title game.

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 86-27 record (.761 winning percentage) in games played in March. In his 16 years as a collegiate head coach, Calipari has guided his teams to 15 postseasons (10 NCAA, five NIT). He led UMass to the 1996 NCAA Final Four and Memphis to the 2002 NIT championship and 2008 NCAA Tournament national championship game.

There must be something in the water in Texas that the Tigers must like because they have had tremendous NCAA Tournament success in the Lone Star State. Memphis has made eight NCAA Tournament stops (16 games; includes 2008) in Texas and is 14-2 in those 16 contests.

The Tigers are 6-0 in Houston, 2-0 in Austin, 2-1 in San Antonio and 4-1 in Dallas. In fact, Memphis had won 11-straight games in NCAA Tournament games played in Texas before last year's loss to Ohio State in the South Region title game. The Tigers' only other Texas/NCAA Tournament setback was an 87-83 loss to Creighton in the 1962 tourney. The following shows the Tigers' success in Texas at NCAA Tournament time:

Tigers' NCAA Tournament Results in Texas
Year	Opponent/Site	Result
2008	UCLA/San Antonio	78-63, W
2008	Texas/Houston	85-67, W
2008	Michigan State/Houston	92-74, W
2007	Ohio State/San Antonio	76-92, L
2007	Texas A&M/San Antonio	65-64, W
2006	Bucknell/Dallas	72-56, W
2006	Oral Roberts/Dallas	94-78, W
1995	Purdue/Austin	75-73, W
1995	Louisville/Austin	77-56, W
1985	Oklahoma/Dallas	63-61, W
1985	Boston College/Dallas	59-57, W
1985	UAB (ot)/Houston	67-66, W
1985	Penn/Houston	67-55, W
1973	Kansas St./Houston	92-72, W
1973	South Carolina/Houston	90-76, W
1962	Creighton/Dallas	83-87, L

Although the Tigers' win streak came to an end Feb. 23, it still goes down as the longest in school history at 26 straight. It was the second-consecutive year Memphis had a win streak of 25 or more games.

In John Calipari's collegiate coaching career, winning streaks have become common. Calipari is in his 16th season as a college head coach in 2007-08, and in those 16 years, his teams have had winning streaks of 10 or more games 11 seasons.

Memphis enters the NCAA Tournament national title game on its second 10-plus game win streak of 2007-08 (current win streak is 12). The following is a breakdown of Calipari's win streaks:

	Win Streaks	No.
	25+	3 (2 at UofM)
	15+	5 (3 at UofM)
	10+	12 (7 at UofM)*
* two 10+ streaks in 2007-08

For the seventh time in the John Calipari era (and the second time in 2007-08), the Tigers hit double digits in a winning streak. The team's current streak is at 12 straight. The Tigers' longest 2007-08 streak reached 26 straight, which is also the longest in Memphis basketball history. The 2006-07 Tigers held the previous longest win streak in school history with 25 straight. The following lists the top win streaks in Tiger basketball history:

	Streak	Year	Ended By
	26	2007-08	Tennessee, 66-62
	25	2006-07	vs. Ohio State 92-76
	20	1985-86	at Va. Tech 76-72
	16	1954-55	at Centenary 70-68
	15	2005-06	at UAB 80-74
	14	1972-73	at Louisville 83-69
	12	2007-08	----------------
	12	2002-03	at Louisville 78-75
	12	1983-84	Louisville 85-78
	11	4 teams	2003-04,
			1982-83, 1975-76
* Calipari teams in italics (also had 10-game streak in 2001-02)

Memphis finished the 2007-08 regular season with a perfect 10-0 record in road games, and was one of two teams in the nation to have an undefeated mark on the road. North Carolina is the other team that went unbeaten in road games during the regular season with a 13-0 record.

However, after North Carolina's loss to Kansas Apr. 5 in the NCAA Final Four, Memphis is the only school in the country to have a perfect record in neutral site games this year. The Tigers are 18-0 in road/neutral site contests (10-0 road, 3-0 regular season neutral, 5-0 postseason neutral).

Prior to their loss to Kansas, the Tar Heels were 22-0 in road/neutral contests in 2007-08.

The Tigers are the third Conference USA school to make the NCAA Final Four in the league's 13-year history. However, Memphis is the first current C-USA member to reach the NCAA Final Four.

Former C-USA institutions Marquette (2003) and Louisville (2005) reached the Final Four.

Furthermore, Memphis is the first C-USA school (current or former) to advance to the NCAA title game. Marquette (2003) and Louisville (2005) both lost in the NCAA national semifinals.

Since turning the ball over 22 times in a road victory at Houston Jan. 30, Memphis has taken better care of the ball. In the 19 games since that Houston contest, the Tigers are averaging only 9.7 miscues per game (185 total). In that 18-game stretch, Memphis' turnover high was 14 versus UCF Feb. 9 and Houston Feb. 13.

In NCAA Tournament play, the Tigers have protected the ball even better. Memphis has only 42 turnovers in five NCAA Tournament contests (8.4 to/game).

Don't like to jinx things, but the Tigers have improved their percentage from the charity stripe in the postseason -- just as CBS hoops analyst Billy Packer said they would do.

In the three Conference USA Tournament games, Memphis hit 71.7 percent from the foul line (38-of-53). And, despite hitting under 50 percent from the line in the NCAA Tournament second-round win over Mississippi State, the Tigers are shooting 70.2 percent (113-of-161) in NCAA Tournament play (five games).

For the entire postseason combined, Memphis is hitting 70.9 percent (151-of-213). During the regular season, the Tigers hit just over 59 percent from the charity stripe.

Packer was the color analyst for the Tigers' Feb. 27 game versus Tulsa at FedExForum. During that game, Packer mentioned that the Tigers would shoot a better percentage from the free throw line in the postseason. To date, Memphis has proven Packer a prophet.

For more notes on the Memphis-Kansas NCAA title game match-up, click on pdf link at top of the page.



Rotating image
Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram Tumblr FourSquare Pintrist