No matter what happens in this week’s C-USA Tournament, the Memphis Tigers are expected to receive an invitation to participate in the NCAA basketball tournament this season. The only two questions remaining: Where will the team go? and What seed will they receive?
The three mostly likely destinations that the Tigers will land for the first round are Austin, TX, Lexington, KY or Philadelphia, PA. The other first round sites are Auburn Hills, MI, Dayton, OH, Kansas City, MO, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Jose, CA.
The NCAA selection committee has stated in previous years is that they will try to make every effort to keep teams as close to home as possible. Given the history of how well Tigers fanbase travels, the committee will make an effort to ensure a manageable trip for fans. The Tigers lead Conference USA (CUSA) in total average attendance with over 16,000 tickets sold to each game. This fact will not be lost on the selection committee.
As far as seeding goes, a couple of things in the Tigers’ favor are their rankings in the latest polls. The Tigers are ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press poll, No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, 19 in the ESPN Basketball Power Index and 21 in the more well-known Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Hear what some of the Tigers’ faithful feel were the team will land in the 2013 tourney:
The Tigers all-time scoring leader Keith Lee feels the Tigers deserve a sixth seed, but because of the lack of respect for the conference he feels they will be no higher than an eighth seed.
The “Little General” aka Andre Turner jokingly stated that the Tigers will get a 63rd seed, but came around that said they will probably get a sixth seed.
Bank of Bartlett president Harold Byrd will very high on the Tigers and feels because of what the team did this year they deserve a fourth seed because of the body of their work.
Former Athletic Director for the Tigers RC Johnson thinks the team will receive a sixth seed.
Coach Josh Pastner feels his team deserves to be seeded fourth and at worst a sixth seed. This was said after the Conference USA regular season finale. Pastner reiterated that at this time, because there is still a lot of basketball yet to be played. In the end, Pastner stated it doesn’t really matter we are seeded we will have to take care of business.
Most national experts have the Tigers hovering around the 8th thru the 11th seed for the tournament.
The selection committee will meet in Kansas City, MO starting in the next few days to begin the hard deliberations on which teams will be selected and where they will play. Early in the season, some experts had the Tigers seed in the first four in Dayton, OH. It is safe to say even with an early exit in the C-USA tournament that is unlikely to occur.
The final determination will occur on selection Sunday, March 17.