Don’t count Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers out just yet

Head Coach Penny Hardaway and his Memphis Tigers are ready to make a run in the American Athletic Conference tournament this weekend in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Memphis comes into the AAC Tournament in familiar territory with their backs against the wall and, everybody doubting their ability to win this tournament and earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament.

MEMPHIS, TN – February 24, 2021, Photo Credits: Joe Murphy, Memphis Athletics

Sure, the Tigers haven’t been the greatest of teams this season, but no matter what, Memphis hasn’t backed down to anyone. This year’s Memphis team is different than previous teams under Penny Hardaway. It’s hard to describe to the outside person who doesn’t understand Penny or this program.

For the first time in a long time, the players on the floor truly care about one another and, they don’t care who gets the praise at the end of the day, as long as the Tigers win. In the long run, that type of thinking will help Memphis make a run at a championship this weekend in Ft. Worth.

Not to mention, on the court, Memphis has been just about unbeatable in seven out of the last eight games. Memphis is a team that started the season slowly but has since found its swagger.

Sure, Memphis comes into the AAC Tournament looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss on Saturday to Houston, but it’s in these moments that make legends out of basketball teams. Penny Hardaway and his team have taken on the blue-collar work ethic that the city of Memphis has embodied all these years.

Trust me. This team understands what there up against in the AAC Tournament this week. They know what’s a stake. But, unlike Memphis teams in the past, this team has adopted the Memphis. Vs. Errrbody way of thinking and that could spell danger for the rest of the AAC.

It’s easy for the rest of the conference to shrug their shoulder at the Tigers, but for Coach Hardaway and his boys, all that matters is what the people back home think of this team. If Memphis were to win the AAC Tournament, it would easily be the biggest win in the Penny era and could go down as one of the biggest program wins in the last ten years.

To advance to the NCAA Tournament with an AAC Championship to go with would solidify what Penny Hardaway has been building for the last three years. It would also give Memphis an unbelievable amount of momentum heading into the future as the Tigers look forward to making this program what it once was under Larry Finch and John Calipari.

Memphis will begin their AAC Tournament run on Friday night and will play the winner of the East Carolina and Central Florida game from the previous night.

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