The wins at Southern Miss and UAB last week were a booster to the Tigers' RPI ranking. At 45, Memphis is now the top-ranked team in Conference USA. Trouble is, the Tigers' remaining opponents are all lower on the RPI chart (thus the Tigers' strength-of-schedule ranking: 73).
After the Tigers, the top five C-USA teams are UAB (53), UTEP (65, and tied with Memphis atop the C-USA standings at 4-1), UCF (67, visiting FedExForum Wednesday night), Marshall (74), and Southern Miss (79).
There's no "good loss" remaining on the Memphis schedule. Even Gonzaga (RPI ranking of 66) is a game the Tigers need to win to boost their chances at an NCAA tournament berth.
A record of 23-9 wasn't good enough last year to earn a bid. So figure the Tigers (currently 15-4) need to win nine of their final 12 regular-season games, then at least one in the C-USA tournament. Such a scenario would put the Tigers at 25-8 (but without a win over a power-conference opponent). Maybe just enough for a dance card.