Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PREVIEW: Tigers vs. Georgetown

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM

• Memphis and Georgetown have developed a pretty decent cross-regional rivalry in recent years. This will be the third time in the last four seasons the Tigers and Hoyas have faced each other while ranked in the Top 20. On December 22, 2007, the 2nd-ranked Tigers beat the 5th-ranked Hoyas at FedExForum, 85-71. On December 13, 2008, the 17th-ranked Tigers traveled to Georgetown and lost in overtime, 79-71, to the 19th-ranked Hoyas. Memphis enters tonight’s game ranked 16th while Georgetown is number 9.

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• The first time these programs met came during the 1983 NCAA tournament at Louisville, of all places. Each team sported an All-America sophomore then, Keith Lee leading Memphis while Patrick Ewing was bending rims for the Hoyas. On March 20, 1983 — in the second round of the Big Dance — Memphis (ranked 17th in the country) beat Georgetown (20th), 66-57. Lee won the battle of big men, too, with 28 points and 15 rebounds (compared with Ewing’s 24 and 9). The Tigers were ousted in their next game five days later by the Phi Slamma Jamma Cougars of Houston. The ’83 tournament was the only time in four years Ewing and Georgetown failed to reach the NCAA championship game.

• Overall, Georgetown holds a 7-2 lead in the series. Memphis has an alltime record of 127-139 against current members of the Big East. (This record includes marks of 31-36 against Cincinnati and 34-51 against Louisville.)

• Tonight’s game will be the fourth for Memphis against “power conference” teams. The Tigers have beaten Miami and LSU, and lost to Kansas. Tennessee (January 5th) is the only such team left on the schedule.

• The Hoyas enter the game with a record of 10-1, their only loss coming on December 9th at Temple. They have two wins over power-conference teams (North Carolina State, Missouri) and one win over a Conference USA squad (Tulane). They average just over 80 points per game, which ranks 18th in the country.

• Senior guard Austin Freeman leads the Hoyas in scoring with 18.5 ppg and has shot 55 percent from the field through 11 games. He topped 30 points in back-to-back games in late November, but hasn’t reached 15 in Georgetown’s last four games. Junior guard Jason Clark averages 14.2 points and Julian Vaughn leads the Hoyas in rebounding with an average of 6.7 per game. Chris Wright is the table-setter with an average of 6.7 assists per game.

• It’s early to be considering RPI rankings, but Georgetown is currently tops in the country (ahead of Kansas, Florida, Duke, and West Virginia). Memphis ranks 35th, behind C-USA rivals Southern Miss (25th) and UCF (31st).

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