The road is an interesting place in league play.
On Wednesday, SMU suffered the kind of loss that could kill of any NCAA tournament hops when they went to South Florida and got dropped by the American bottom-feeder.
The Mustangs returned home on Saturday, taking on No. 22 Memphis in a game that they needed to win. The result? An 87-72 win in which the final score doesn’t do the beatdown SMU gave the Tigers justice.
With the score tied at 29 coming out of halftime, SMU went on a 27-7 run over the first seven minutes of the second half, eventually stretching that lead to 25 points. It was an overwhelming performance for SMU, one that earned them a key win for their NCAA tournament resume. Entering Saturday, the best win that SMU had on their resume came at home over UConn.
In a vacuum, that’s not enough to get the Mustangs in, not when they’ve done nothing of note on the road. But with games left against Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville and the Tigers in Memphis, Larry Brown’s crew will have their chances.
As far as Memphis is concerned, this is a bit worrisome. For the second time this season, a team came out swinging on them in a road game, and Memphis just rolled over. It happened in the first half at Oklahoma State in November, and it happened in the second half on Saturday. The irony? The only impressive league win the Tigers have came on the road, as they lost at home to Cincinnati and UConn but won at Louisville.
Markus Kennedy dominated SMU in the paint, finishing with 21 points and 15 boards while shooting 10-for-10 from the floor.