Saturday, March 29, 2008
Tigers Prove Critics Wrong Yet Again ..............
You know, I have been so annoyed by the majority of media stories about the Tigers in this tournament that I've had no motivation to write in my blog. I started this blog to help spread the word about Memphis basketball, but the Tigers play is far and away the better gospel of the Tigers.
As I watched the first half of the Michigan State game last night, I was thinking could Memphis really be playing this good. That was far and away the best I have seen Memphis play in five years. The UCLA game in the Pre-Season NIT in November 2005 was close, but it was more a one man show (Shawn Williams). Memphis beat a heavily-favored and ranked Marquette team on the road about five years ago that wasn't supposed to happen. It was one of those games where the Tigers hit everything they threw up and Marquette was stunned.
Probably the most memorable game similar to last night was Memphis winning at Louisville in the 1988-1989 season, when the Tigers jumped out to a 24-0 lead and then held on to win by four.
But last night's first half was special.
One of my closest friends who lives in New Orleans sent me a text message at half time. he wrote, "Pierre Niles...........this is getting silly!" He was right. Pierre Niles has no business getting in the game against a Top 10 team, much less scoring on a pretty tough move.
I was watching the game with several friends including three University of Memphis graduates. It was a lot of fun. It was one high five after another.
Ok, so on to the business at hand. Can the Tigers get past their stumbling block of the past two years - the regional final?
Can Memphis complete the sweep with wins over an SEC team, a Big 10 team and a Big 12 team?
Will the critics give Memphis any love if they do win?
Does 26 of 35 from the free throw line show Memphis can hit free throws? Or does the Michigan State game not count since the game wasn't close and the free throws weren't under pressure?
Texas is damn good and playing in Houston is no easy feat for Memphis.
However, the Tigers should feel good about the fact that when they tip the ball on Sunday afternoon, they can remember they just played their best basketball on the same floor against a really good team just 48 hours before.
I got a tear in my eye the last time Memphis made it to the Final Four (1985). I was a young man of seventeen. Today, I'm a bit more mature - 40 next month, but have no doubt, I'll probably still well up with a tear of joy if we go to San Antonio.
GO TIGERS !