No. 21 Memphis became the second ranked team to get dropped by Houston in Hofheinz Arena, falling 77-68 to the Cougars in a loss that will certainly look bad on the Tigers’ resume come Selection Sunday.
Danuel House led three players in double figures with 19 points and L.J. Rose chipped in with seven points, seven boards and ten assists.
Michael Dixon led the way with 19 points and four assists, but it wasn’t enough as Josh Pastner’s team never appeared to wake up.
It’s understandable, and frankly, we probably should have seen it coming. In their last two games, the Tigers beat Rutgers by five and were taken to overtime by Temple, two teams that are buried at the bottom of the AAC. Throw on top of that the fact that: A) they finish the season against Louisville, at Cincinnati and against SMU, and B) they were playing in an arena that quite possibly had more players working or playing in the game than sitting in the stands.
A slumping team without much to play for — they aren’t getting a top four seed and they aren’t in danger of missing the tournament — has a road game in a sterile environment 48 hours before starting the most difficult stretch of their season.
Throw in the fact that every single team in the country is dragging at the end of the dog days of February, and it’s not all that surprising that Houston was one of the six ranked teams to lose on Thursday.