I should know, twice #2 Carolina has beaten #1 Duke.
A quick round of thoughts on the Memphis/Tennessee game.
– Overall, a great game. With Chris Lofton out of sync, the whole Tennesse team stepped up to the plate. They never looked intimidated and everyone looked ready to take the final shot.
– Memphis tried to intimidate Tennessee and it failed. First, they ‘approached’ them in the entrance prior to coming onto the court. Then they got into their space again during the shoot around. This was stupid and petty. It just didn’t need to be done. The Volunteers were walking into a sea of blue, with Elvis’ wife watching, against five guys who will probably be in the NBA real soon. You intimidate with your talent and your play.
– Question of the day, why does a team who is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country shoot 27 threes? After starting off an amazing 7-10, you would have thought after a couple of misses, Memphis would have settled into a little post-play, but they didn’t. They made (I believe) only two 2-point shots in the entire first half. After that hot start, Memphis finished 1-17 the rest of the way from behind the strip. What the hell? It’s not like they were playing catch up. They led almost the entire game.
– Calipari said to anyone who would listen (Vitale, PTI) that yes, his team sucks at the free throw line, but he said “out of 25 things that I’m concerned about, free throw shooting is number 25.” He claims that his Tigers make them when they have to (meaning they make them down the stretch). You’ll never guess what happened; the Tigers went 1-6 down the stretch in free throws. Pretty important considering they lost by four.
– Anyhow, both teams proved they are legit. I don’t see Memphis losing another game and I would not drop them too far in the rankings, maybe #3 behind Carolina. Yes, the conference sucks, but they’ve beaten some solid non-conference teams earlier this season and that cannot be forgotten.
– As for Tennessee, I don’t know if they’re the best. I still say Carolina with a healthy Lawson is the best team in the nation (I’ll be doing my tournament posts soon enough). If I did a poll, which I don’t, I would easily have Tennessee at #1. Pearl is right, I don’t know if they are the best, but they are #1 for now.