Mid-Major Headlines: Memphis Makes Some Bad History

Memphis was listed as a 3.5 point road favorite prior to their visit to Tulsa. It may have been generous for the Tigers, given that Tulsa was 4-1 in the AAC with a 12-6 record overall. Granted, Memphis was coming off a good win over a solid Cincinnati squad, but their match-up with the Golden Hurricanes was going to be a much tougher battle.

As it turns out, the game wasn’t a battle – it wasn’t even close. And not in a good way for Memphis. The Tigers were completely outclassed in every phase of the game and walked off the court with the scoreboard reading 80-40 in favor of the home team. For the 20th-ranked Tigers, they became just the fifth ranked team since 1948 to lose by 40+ points.

There was no one area of concern for Memphis that could be easily fixed. They were horrid in every aspect of the game, shooting just 28.6% from the field, including a putrid 2/21 from long range, seemingly befuddled into taking bad shots by Tulsa’s zone. They made just 6 out of 11 free throws, turned the ball over 20 times, got blocked four times, and seemed incapable of stopping Tulsa defensively. Down 23 points at the half, Memphis couldn’t even stop the bleeding, allowing another 40 points in the second half to put the exclamation mark on their horrific performance.

Memphis, without James Wiseman, is looking less and less like a tournament team. Precious Achiuwa is their best player, and he’s averaging 15 points per game. And when he has an off game – as on Wednesday night – the entire Tigers’ offense looks out of sorts. They will almost certainly fall out of the rankings after this week, and with only a pair of ranked games against Houston on their schedule, they’ll have to impress to get any kind of decent seed in March.

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