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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Richmond, Maine and UT-Martin Round Out Memphis Regional in 2k Sports College Hoops Classic

Tiger schedule complete
Posted by Dan Wolken, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Though there aren’t any real surprises, the bracket for the 2k Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer is finally out.

Richmond, Maine and UT-Martin are the three other teams that will play in the Memphis regional, with the Tigers getting UT-Martin first on Nov. 5. Assuming Memphis wins that game — and there’s no reason to believe it shouldn’t — the Tigers will likely face Richmond the next night with a trip to New York on the line. (One sidenote: The Richmond-Maine game tips off at the highly unusual time of 3 p.m. on a Monday afternoon.) I am a bit familiar with Richmond simply because of its head coach, Chris Mooney, who I covered when he was at Air Force. Mooney played at Princeton and is a devout disciple of the Pete Carril/Bill Carmody/Joe Scott-style Princeton lineage. Though I certainly wouldn’t expect a young Richmond team to hang with Memphis, that can be a very difficult style to play against, especially in the second game of the season when you’re still trying to get organized.

Assuming the Tigers handle Richmond, it looks like they’ll get Oklahoma for the semifinals in New York. That would be a rematch of their first-round game in last year’s EA Sports Maui Invitational. Memphis didn’t have too much trouble in that game, winning 77-65, but Oklahoma should be an improved team in its second year under Jeff Capel and with McDonald’s All-American Blake Griffin coming aboard. His older brother, Taylor Griffin, was the one player who really hurt Memphis in last year’s meeting with 16 points and 10 rebounds and returns for his junior season.

It wouldn’t surprise anybody if Memphis gets another Maui rematch in the championship game against Kentucky. Then again, it might be UConn, and who wouldn’t love to see a John Calipari-Jim Calhoun matchup in the finals? If you haven’t heard, those two guys don’t like each other very much.

Posted Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 at 11:45 am

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