2013-2014 Memphis Tigers Basketball Schedule
Tigers basketball coach Josh Pastner expended a lot of energy stumping for Conference USA in hopes it ultimately would help The University of Memphis gain a better seed in the NCAA Tournament. But it never really worked out that way.
(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)
With the release on Wednesday of the Tigers’ 2013-2014 schedule, in their first season in the new American Athletic Conference, Pastner can now just point to the obvious: The Tigers twice play defending national champion Louisville, 2011 champion Connecticut and potentially could have eight opponents that appeared in the last NCAA Tournament.
“Everyone agrees you have a better chance of advancing (in the NCAAs) if you have a better seed,” Pastner said, also noting, “This is a high, high-level basketball league. … You’re looking at a possible five, six bids from this league. I don’t see why not.”
The Tigers begin with a Nov. 8 exhibition against Christian Brothers at FedExForum and open the season for real here on Nov. 14 against Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley Conference. On the 19th, they travel to Stillwater, Okla., and play highly touted Oklahoma State in the Old Spice Classic. And on Dec. 17, they’ll face Florida in an ESPN game in New York in the Jimmy V Classic.
In all, the Tigers will appear on national television in 25 of 31 regular season games, many on the ESPN family of networks. On Feb. 8, ESPN Gameday comes to Memphis for the Tigers’ game with Gonzaga, which finished as the No. 1 team in the country in the last Associated Press poll.
Other home opponents include conference foes UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati and Temple. Pastner called it the Tigers’ best home schedule “maybe ever.” The Tigers ranked 11th nationally in attendance last season and Pastner hopes the Tigers can at least crack the top 10 this season.
• Memphis Madness will be Oct. 18 at FedExForum
• LeMoyne-Owen College plays the Tigers at the Forum on Jan. 18, the first time a Division II team is on the regular schedule since CBU in 2001-2002.
• There will be four day-night doubleheaders on the Forum with the Grizzlies:
- On Dec. 7, the Tigers Northwestern State at noon and the Grizzlies play Golden State at 7.
- On Dec. 28, the Tigers play Jackson State at 11 a.m. and the Grizzlies play Denver at 7.
- On March 1, the Tigers play Louisville at 1 and the Grizzlies play Cleveland at 8.
- On March 8, the Tigers play SMU at 11 a.m. and the Grizzlies play Charlotte at 7.
• FedExForum will be the site of the first American Athletic Conference Tournament, March 12-15.
In other Tiger news, Pastner said they have not heard from the NCAA regarding Missouri transfer guard Michael Dixon’s waiver – “we’re in a holding pattern” – or on freshman guard Pookie Powell’s academic eligibility. “I’d say it’s 50-50,” he gets in this semester, Pastner said. “Hope to know something by Friday or first thing next week.”