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Monday, February 19, 2007 Says Memphis Failed to Make a Statement, Still an Unknown

Paper Tigers?

So Memphis escaped Spokane, Wash., with an overtime win over Gonzaga on Saturday, the Tigers' 15th straight. "It was probably the hardest place I've played since I've been at Memphis, but guys came up big," Tigers guard Antonio Anderson told the Memphis Commerical Appeal. "It just shows how tough we are as a team." Does it? The Zags, a team that may not make the NCAAs if they can't win the WCC tourney, were without second-leading scorer Josh Heytvelt and lost for the 10th time this season. "We needed that," Tigers coach John Calipari said. What Memphis needed to do was make a statement. It led by as many as 13 in the second half but got lackadaisical on defense and let Gonzaga back in the game. The Tigers are a No. 3 or No. 5 seed in most mock brackets, but what do we really know about them? They have an RPI of nine but their biggest win was a victory over a suddenly reeling Kentucky team in the Maui Invitational and they lost to Arizona, Georgia Tech and Tennessee. Maybe Memphis was just going through the motions after winning its last 10 C-USA games by an average of 20.4 points and didn't expect the fight that Gonzaga put up, but the Tigers failed to make a statement. Memphis may be 23-3 but there's still so much left unanswered and with a schedule that doesn't have a challenge left, we won't have our answers until the Big Dance.

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