Florida Atlantic ends the 2022-2023 Memphis Basketball season by defeating the Tigers 66-65

Despite a slow start, Memphis found its composure, but it wasn’t enough on Friday night, as the Tigers had their hearts ripped out by the Owls. Memphis simply didn’t have enough in the tank to complete the ten-point comeback, and with that, the Tigers are heading back to Memphis with a loss and a lot to ponder as they head into the off-season.

Coming into the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Memphis had legitimate hopes of competing for a National Championship. However, the Tigers weren’t able to get past the buzzsaw of the Conference USA Champion, Florida Atlantic.

As the Memphis game neared tip, on the same court, it was the Knights of 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickerson shocking Purdue and making NCAA Tournament history. For the second time in the history of the NCAA Tournament, a 16 seed defeated a one seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Five years ago, UMBC stunned Virginia to pave the road for the Knights to take down Purdue on Friday night.

As the tip neared Memphis and Florida Atlantic, nervous energy settled in for the Tigers. Florida Atlanta jumped out to an early lead. Head Coach Penny Hardaway called a timeout that calmed the Tigers down to play into the game plan. Memphis would take a four-point 35-31 lead to the break.

Following the break, it was more of the same until the under-12 media timeout of the second half when Memphis held a 47-44 lead over FAU. Memphis would score following the timeout to make it 49-44 Tigers, Memphis would then force a turnover leading to a monster dunk on the other end, making it 51-44 Tigers with 9:44 remaining in the game. Florida Atlantic Head Coach Dusty May called a needed timeout to slow the Memphis run. Florida Atlantic would break the huddle with a basket of their own to cut the Memphis lead to 51-47 with 9:23 to play. At the under-8 media timeout, it was Memphis 51, Florida Atlantic 47. Memphis and FAU would trade blows before Florida Atlantic would nail a finger roll giving the Owls a final score of 66-65 and sending FAU to the round of 32.

Despite blown calls, Memphis should have never been in the position to lose on Friday night. Memphis got outrebounded and outplayed on the glass by the Owls. That alone was the difference between a win and ending the season with a devasting loss. Although the difference was three, down the stretch, it was Florida Atlantic earning second and sometimes third chances after misses. Memphis has nobody to blame for the loss than the team looking back in the mirror. Head Coach Penny Hardaway and his Memphis Tigers Basketball program had chances to win on Friday night, but the Tigers could not finish.

Give Credit to Florida Atlantic for staying the course and earning a massive program-changing win over the Tigers on Friday night.

Disappointing, but the Tigers still have the AAC Tournament Championship to remember the 2022-2023 season by.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: