After four straight losses, Head Coach Penny Hardaway and his Memphis Tigers have found themselves back in the win column after an impressive win over the 6th ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Not sure what came over the Tigers tonight, but Memphis came into the matchup with Alabama looking for a cage fight, and a cage fight they found. From the opening tip-off to the final buzzer, it was all Memphis as they continued to deliver knockout punches after knockout punches while forcing Alabama into submission.
If we’re being honest here, Memphis looked like the Memphis basketball that so many expected from the start of the season. Memphis controlled the tempo and forced Alabama out of their comfort zone with just the sheer athleticism that makes this Memphis team so dangerous. Not to mention, everybody on the roster contributed in some capacity. As a team, the Tigers shot well over 70% from the charity stripe which, is vastly improved from any other game in the four years since Coach Penny Hardaway took over at Memphis, in addition to that, the Tigers found themselves in the double bonus early in the second half which led to several free points at the line.
On top of the play on the court, Memphis fed off the incredible crowd at the FedEx Forum tonight. For the first time in years, the crowd tonight felt like the Tiger basketball crowds of old, where people enjoyed the product on the court enough to create one of the best home-court advantages in all of College Basketball. Memphis fans showed the rest of the College Basketball world what Memphis Basketball was all about.
Tuesday night was about celebration for the Tigers. Now it’s on to the Tennessee game on Saturday. Saturday’s rivalry matchup against Tennessee will have the same feeling as the matchup with Alabama did. This time, State bragging rights will be on the line as the Tigers look to silence the critics once again.