Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.
Conference: Conference USA
Coach: Josh Pastner
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 38
– RPI: 15
– AP/USA Today: 20/17
Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Memphis as a No. 9 seed in Saturday’s bracket projection.
Names you need to know: Joe Jackson (13.4 ppg, 4.8 apg), Adonis Thomas (11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Chris Crawford (10.3 ppg, 3.2 apg)
Stats you need to know: One. That’s how many losses the Tigers have since December 15th. And it was was two point loss at Xavier. I know, I know. Look at who they played. It’s not overwhelming. But a 24-1 record is a 24-1 record.
Tendencies: The biggest tendency for the Tigers? Head-scratching plays. They have all the talent in the world, but their decision-making leaves something to be desired.
Big wins, bad losses: The reason that Memphis needed to win the automatic bid to feel safe? Their best win this season is beating Southern Miss. Three times.
How’d they get here?: The Tigers ran through Conference USA again, going undefeated in league play and winning the conference tournament.
Outlook: Memphis has all the talent in the world, the problem is that you never know when they are going to make a play or take a shot that just doesn’t make any sense. They have enough talent to get to the Sweet 16, but the problem is that they look to be headed to an 8-9 game. Can the Tigers upset a No. 1 seed if they get out of the opening round?
How do I know you?: The Tigers will be one of the headliners in whatever the old Big East is going to be called next season.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
No. 15 Cincinnati pounced on Memphis from the start, taking a 51-32 lead into halftime.
Then, Gary Clark decided to add insult to injury to start the second half. Seriously, how did he catch that?
Mick Cronin’s team is much better offensively than in previous seasons. I’m sure fans in the Fifth Third Arena can get used to seeing more plays like this.
Michigan State freshman guard Cassius Winston had just one field goal in the first half. And it was a half-court buzzer-beater as the Spartans capped a sizable run to take a 49-31 lead over Nebraska going into the break.
The Spartans ended the half on a 21-5 run.
Winston provided a serious boost off the bench during that stanza. Moments earlier, he helped the Breslin Center erupt when he lobbed a pass off the backboard to teammate Miles Bridges.
Michigan State opened the day projected as one of the final at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. The margin for error is thing and it appears the Spartans are playing with a sense of urgency.
Wednesday’s slate of games had several wild results.
Former Ohio State walk-on turned blogger turned author Mark Titus, who is currently writing for The Ringer, joined Rob Dauster on the latest episode of the CBT Podcast to go over last night’s games. The two also discussed who is the best team in the nation at the moment, as well Frank Mason III’s rap single from several years ago #BIFM
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom
North Carolina’s Roy Williams called fellow Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to apologize for a fan’s behavior during Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill.
While leaving the floor at halftime, Pitino had to be restrained by members of the Louisville coaching staff and he and a UNC fan exchanged words as he made his way to the locker rom. There’s video of Pitino pointing and shouting at a fan, who reportedly said, “Pitino, you suck!”
“I don’t like that,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”
“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again.”
No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville, 74-63.
STILL TO PLAY
Georgia at Alabama (RPI: 68, KenPom: 61, next four teams), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Michigan State (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed), 7:00 p.m.
Towson at UNC Wilmington (RPI: 41, KenPom: 57, No. 12 seed), 7:00 p.m.