|Memphis making noise in NCAA tournament again|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 22 March 2009 07:57|
``It's scary when coach isn't yelling at us so much,'' guard Antonio Anderson said.
Confident and suddenly hitting shots from long range, last year's national runner-up is making another run and keeping its coach's lips zipped.
Memphis heard plenty from Calipari against Northridge. The Tigers were flat and played ``cocky,'' as their coach put it, and he let them have it at halftime. Roburt Sallie kept Memphis close with a barrage of 3-pointers, and the Tigers pulled away down the stretch for a harder-than-expected nine-point win.
After avoiding the upset, the second-seeded Tigers never gave Maryland a chance.
ith ease, Memphis jumped out to a 17-4 lead to start the game and didn't let up until late, overwhelming the Terps in a 19-point win that easily could have been 30.
Now, Memphis is headed to the West Regional semifinals in Glendale, Ariz., to face Missouri or Marquette. At 33-3 and with a nation-leading 27-game winning streak, the Tigers are serious title contenders - even after losing three starters to the NBA from last year's team.
``This team is talented, deep and skilled enough,'' Calipari said. ``For us, free-throw shooting and 3-point shooting are the deciding factors.''
So far, the 3-point shots are going in.
Normally a dribble-drive team, Memphis hit just 32 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season. In the two games in Kansas City, the Tigers hit 21-of-47 from beyond the arc, including 10-for-19 against Maryland.
Sallie has been a big boost. A 4.5-point scorer during the regular season, he has suddenly given the Tigers yet another weapon.
The sophomore guard surprised nearly everyone against Northridge, setting an NCAA opening-round record with 10 3-pointers and a school-record 35 points. He added three more 3s against Maryland, scoring 13 points, and is 13-for-19 from beyond the arc in the tournament.
``We're a tough team to beat,'' guard Doneal Mack said. ``We're not known as a 3-point shooting team, but when we're shooting the ball like that and playing tough defense, it's hard to get beat.''
And for Calipari to find anything to complain about.