The 104-84 final score from Thompson-Boling Arena, where Tennessee beat No. 22 Memphis, does absolutely no justice to the beat down that the Tigers suffered.
Tennessee never trailed. They went up 20-10 at the 13:42 mark of the first half. They pushed that lead to 37-17 at the 7:44 mark. It ballooned to 25 points in the first half, but the Tigers were able to make a run and get within striking distance early in the second half.
And that’s went Tennessee went on their big run.
With 18:51 left in the game, the Vols were up 49-39. After a barrage of threes was capped by Scotty Hopson with 11:29 remaining, Tennessee led 75-43. That’s a 32 point lead and a 26-4 run for those of you scoring at home.
Yeah, this thing was never close.
It was never all that interesting, either.
I watched as much of it was I could stomach, but with the Jimmer show going on my TV spent a lot more time tuned into the battle out west than the battle in the bluegrass.
This much I can tell you — the suspicions about Memphis are now officially confirmed. This group was unbelievably overrated and overhyped coming into the season. Right now, its difficult to label them as the favorite in Conference USA, not with Marcus Jordan playing like Pops, Southern Miss continuing to win, and teams like UTEP and UAB proving themselves underrated.
The Tigers are selfish. They don’t understand how to play together. There is talent on this team, that’s not a question, but the Tigers still play AAU basketball offensively.
The most demoralizing part about this loss for Memphis — other than the fact that it came at the hands of rival Tennessee — is that the Vols have been playing as poorly as anyone in the country. They came in losers of four of their last six, and the best team in that group — by a ways — was USC. Not exactly a murderer’s row they lost too.
You had to figure that Tennessee, who has wins over Pitt and Villanova, would bounce back this season. They just needed a reason to bring enough energy, focus, and intensity to the game.
I’m not so sure about Memphis.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.