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VOL. 133 | NO. 164 | Monday, August 20, 2018

Memphis Tigers Could Face Defending National Champion Villanova in Thanksgiving Tournament

By Don Wade

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Penny Hardaway’s first team at the University of Memphis will play a non-conference schedule that features preseason Top 10 Tennessee, Elite Eight participant Texas Tech, and possibly defending national champion Villanova.

In all, the Tigers could potentially face six NCAA Tournament teams from last season. They could possibly meet Villanova in the AdvoCare Invitational over the Thanksgiving holiday in Orlando. Other NCAA teams on the non-conference schedule, or potentially on the schedule depending on tournament results: South Dakota State, Florida State and Charleston.

Other postseason teams on the schedule include Oklahoma State and LSU, which played in the NIT, and possibly Canisius (College Basketball Invitational). Old rival UAB is also on the schedule.

The Tigers host Tennessee on Dec. 15. The Vols won 26 games and a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season title and return most of their roster, including SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams. Rick Barnes is the reigning SEC Coach of the Year.

The Tigers open the stacked AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando against Oklahoma State on Nov. 22 while playing either Villanova or Canisius on Nov. 23 and either Florida State, LSU, College of Charleston or UAB on Nov. 25. Hardaway played his first six NBA seasons with the Orlando Magic from 1993-94 to 1998-99 where he helped lead the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals and played in three All-Star games, twice being named All-NBA first-team.

Memphis opens the regular season of the Hardaway era on Nov. 6 against Tennessee Tech after playing exhibition games against LeMoyne-Owen College and Christian Brothers University. Tennessee Tech finished 19-14 a year ago.

Memphis will play its first road game of the season at LSU on Nov. 13. LSU went 18-15 last season, reaching the NIT second round. Memphis plays host to Yale on Nov. 17; the Bulldogs went 16-15, finishing third in the Ivy League.

The Tigers play a neutral-site game against Texas Tech on Dec. 1 as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame event at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Texas Tech, which finished 27-10, advanced to the Elite Eight last season, its deepest NCAA Tournament run in school history.

Memphis begins a six-game home stand to close out non-conference play on Dec. 4 against South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits, 28-7 last season, have won three straight Summit League titles and appeared in three straight NCAA Tournaments and five in the last seven years.

UAB comes to FedExForum on Dec. 8.

Dates have not been announced for the Tigers' American Athletic Conference games. The Tigers will play an 18-game league schedule.

2018-19 Memphis Non-Conference Schedule

Oct. 25: LeMoyne-Owen (exhibition)

Nov. 2: CBU (exhibition)

Nov. 6: Tennessee Tech

Nov. 13: at LSU

Nov. 17: Yale

Nov. 22: vs. Oklahoma State at AdvoCare Invitational (Orlando)

Nov. 23: vs. Villanova/Canisius at AdvoCare Invitational (Orlando)

Nov. 25: vs. Florida State/LSU/Charleston/UAB at AdvoCare Invitational (Orlando)

Dec. 1: vs. Texas Tech at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Miami)

Dec. 4: South Dakota State

Dec. 8: UAB

Dec. 15: Tennessee

Dec. 19: Little Rock

Dec. 22: Tennessee State

Dec. 29: Florida A&M

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