Memphis Basketball/NCAA Championship Game Notes
April 6, 2008
NO. 1 SEED TIGERS TO MEET NO. 1 SEED KANSAS FOR 2000 NCAA TITLE ON MONDAY
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.
SCOUTING THE JAYHAWKS
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)
CALIPARI IN EIGHTH YEAR AT HELM OF TIGER PROGRAM
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.
WITH ONE MORE WIN...
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
TIGERS MAKE THIRD FINAL FOUR
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.
A FIRST FOR CALIPARI...
BUT A SECOND FOR MEMPHIS
TIGERS ALL BY THEMSELVES
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
WINS IN THREE-YEAR PERIOD
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
MEMPHIS VS. THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
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.
CAL VS. THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
THE KANSAS CONNECTION
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 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 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
CALIPARI IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
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.
MARCH IS WHAT'S IT'S ALL ABOUT
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.
TIGERS LOVE TEXAS AT TOURNEY TIME
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
CAL'S TEAMS STREAKING
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
MORE ON STREAKS FOR TIGERS
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)
TIGERS THE LONE ROAD WARRIORS
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.
MEMPHIS THIRD C-USA TEAM IN FINAL 4; FIRST TO REACH TITLE GAME
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.
TIGERS TAKING CARE OF THE BALL
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).
TIGERS PICKING IT UP AT THE LINE
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.