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Tigers Basketball Insider: Memphis trending in right direction for NCAA Tournament
 
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University of Memphis center Malcolm Dandridge (23) grabs a rebound over University of Cincinnati forward Ody Oguama (33) during a Jan. 9, 2022 game at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)
 

University of Memphis center Malcolm Dandridge (23) grabs a rebound over University of Cincinnati forward Ody Oguama (33) during a Jan. 9, 2022 game at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Welcome to this week’s Tigers Basketball Insider. Below you’ll find the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Steven Johnson, John Martin and Geoff Calkins.

When the Tigers opened AAC play with a loss to Tulane, the frustration was palpable.

Most fans and pundits assumed that the Tigers would basically need to win the AAC Conference Tournament and secure the league’s automatic bid to make into the NCAA Tournament.

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Since that loss to the Green Wave, Memphis has won three straight league games and four of its last five games.

Where does this leave the Tigers in the latest bracketology projections? Trending in the right direction.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Memphis currently as the No. 48 team in the tournament and as a 12 seed.

TeamRankings.com is even more bullish on the Tigers’ resume and currently has Memphis projected as a No. 7 seed with a 88% chance to receive a bid.

CBSSports’ Jerry Palm also had Memphis in the tournament as a 12 seed on Jan. 7, before the Tigers’ win over the Cincinnati Bearcats.

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What does it all mean? Memphis, which has a Quad 1 opportunity against Central Florida Wednesday, is currently on the right side of the bubble.

As of today with two games against Houston, the UCF game and a road trip at Cincinnati, Memphis will have at least four more chances for signature wins.

The goal should absolutely still be to win the regular season and postseason crown.

But with the way Memphis is performing, it might not be necessary to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.


More from your Insider: 


James Wiseman’s jersey retired at East, site of his greatest Memphis moments

Wiseman was honored with Golden State Warriors teammates and former Memphis Tigers teammates in attendance.

Tyler Harris’ clutch play lifts Memphis to win over Cincinnati

Behind Harris and a resurgent Emoni Bates, the Tigers won their third straight AAC game.

Calkins: Tyler Harris, the littlest Tiger, delivers the biggest win

Penny Hardaway said point guard Tyler Harris “will put daggers in people.” On Sunday, Harris put three daggers in the Cincinnati Bearcats to give Memphis a heart-stopping win. 

This version of the Tigers is much different from December’s

The University of Memphis basketball team is undefeated so far in January. As Josh Minott put it: “The word of the day is unity.”

Tigers notebook: Second-half Malcolm Dandridge, and more encouraging signs

Dandridge is starting to find himself, and Memphis is sharing the ball better.

What we learned about the Tigers after Game 13

The Tigers have found their point guard, but their depth is about to be tested.

 
 
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