The last coach to hand Memphis a conference loss now aims to knock out the Tigers from the NCAA tournament.
Missouri's Mike Anderson, then with UAB, beat Memphis 80-74 on March 2, 2006, then left for Missouri 24 days later.
``I remember they had a countdown on the clock in the middle of the campus,'' Memphis coach John Calipari said in a conference call Monday. ``I remember the tents outside, and it was sold out three or four months before the game was even played. Before the season, they were pointing to that game. I remember a very physical game.''
``It was physical people. They threw a punch, we threw a punch, They threw a punch. Then the biggest thing I remember is I couldn't get to Mike to shake his hand. I had to wait until we got in the back hallway. I don't believe I ever shook his hand. I think I called him, 'Hey, I couldn't even get down to you.''
or quite a while because his Tigers haven't lost a Conference USA game since - a span that has topped 1,100 days with 61 consecutive wins. It's a string of domination that includes all four league titles - regular season and tournament.
On Thursday night, the No. 2 seeded Tigers (33-3) put their school-record and nation's best 27-game winning streak on the line in the West Regional semifinals against Anderson and his third-seeded Missouri Tigers (30-6) in Glendale, Ariz.
It's two coaches who know each other's offensive approaches very well, leaving them to study up on the current players.
``He has an idea of what we're trying to do, and I have an idea of what he's trying to do so I think for both of us there'll be a level of we're both going to watch tape and look at each other's teams and go, 'Oh my gosh.' I'm looking at his team, and that's what I'm saying. Hopefully, that's what he's saying about my team,'' Calipari said.
Missouri bills its approach as the fastest 40 minutes in basketball. Calipari counters with his dribble-drive offense and lots of experience. Anderson has 13 players making their first appearance in the tournament, although they now have won two straight.
Memphis has two starters back in Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier from last season's national runners-up, as well as Shawn Taggart and Doneal Mack, former reserves who now start.
t we're trying to do, we're very similar,'' Calipari said.
He gave his team the day off Sunday before putting them through practice Monday. They will practice again Tuesday before leaving for Arizona. He doesn't load up players with tape of opponents. Only those who ask will see a game or two, because Calipari sees the scouting as the job of he and his assistants.
Calipari hopes Memphis don't lose the shooting touch it showed in its 89-70 win over Maryland in the second round. The Tigers sizzled in the first half and shot 70.4 percent (19-of-27). They were even better from outside the arc, hitting 8 of 11 (72.7 percent). They finished the game hitting 52.6 percent.
Calipari pointed out they finished the game not attempting too many 3s, yet were 10-of-19 in that category. He said his team usually attempts up to 30 percent of its shots from 3-point range, sometimes up to a full third.
``We just don't want much higher than that. We're just happy to make them. The first game Roburt Sallie made them,'' Calipari said of the sophomore guard who hit 10 3s in that game. ``The rest of us were 1 for 13. But he made them. ... The next game we all shot it pretty well.''

NCAAB Headlines


NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Oklahoma vs. Kansas Pick Now in the top ranking, will No. 1 Kansas be able to put on an impressive performance tonight when it hosts Oklahoma at 9PM...
Thumbnail Miami vs. Virginia Tech Pick Will No. 25 Miami go on the road and pick up a big win over Virginia Tech when the two meet up tonight at 9PM ET?
Thumbnail West Virginia vs. Baylor Pick Which team will pick up a win in a major Big 12 clash tonight when No. 9 Baylor hosts No. 12 West Virginia at...
Thumbnail UNC vs. Virginia Pick It’s a big matchup in the ACC tonight when No. 18 Virginiahosts No. 8 North Carolinaat 7PM ET. Who has the edge in this clash?
Thumbnail Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame Pick Can No. 21 Notre Dame cover a double-digit spread at home when it hosts Georgia Tech tonight at 6:30PM ET?

NCAAB Team Pages