Memphis vs. UCF pregame

Marcus Jordan

Marcus Jordan leads the Knights in scoring at nearly 16 points per game.

Memphis takes on UCF tonight at FedExForum as the Tigers return home after to down-to-the-wire victories on the road.

The Tigers narrowly outlasted Southern Miss in Hattiesburg last Wednesday 76-75 thanks to a buzzer-beating three-point bucket from Charles Carmouche. Memphis has now won 14 consecutive games against the Golden Eagles and their embattled head coach Larry Eustachy. (But, that’s another story in itself)

Memphis then traveled to Birmingham, Ala. for a Saturday night battle against the UAB Blazers, televised on ESPN2. The Tigers needed overtime, but still escaped witha  76-73 victory and kept themselves tied with UTEP in the C-USA standings.

Some key things to think about for tonight’s game:

  • UCF started the season 14-0 and climbed to as high as No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll-beating Florida, Miami, and Princeton in that stretch, but has lost four straight C-USA games.  Clearly, the Knights to a boost to get going in the right directions, as the Orlando Sentinel’s Iliana Limón writes.
  • First-year head coach Donnie Jones sparked a basketball frenzy on campus with the early success, but UCF needs to W’s to keep that going.
  • The game is also interesting as Memphis and UCF think of themselves as the two most attractive C-USA candidates for conference expansion. (That is, both have eyes set on moving to bigger and better things than C-USA.)
  • UCF is making quite the splash in recruiting as well, so Memphis would certainly like to reassure its potential prospects the that C-USA crown is still securely in its hands.
  • Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus, is a starting guard for the Knights, and has explosive scoring potential.

I expect the Tigers to come out and play energized and motivated basketball, ready to show the home fans that the two wins on the road weren’t flukes.

Here’s the CA’s Jason Smith with a video preview of the matchup:

<a href=”Tigers” _mce_href=”http://www.commercialappeal.com/videos/detail/tigers-vs-ucf-with-jason-smith”>Tigers”>http://www.commercialappeal.com/videos/detail/tigers-vs-ucf-with-jason-smith”>Tigers vs. UCF with Jason Smith</a>

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About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. www.prestonmcclellan.weebly.com. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on January 26, 2011, in C-USA Basketball, Memphis Tigers, NCAA Basketball, UCF Knights and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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