The state of Tennessee plays host to the NCAA’s regular season game of the year Saturday night for the 1-2 showdown at FedEx Forum, home of John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers (26-0).
The second ranked Tennessee Volunteers (24-2), coached by Bruce Pearl, are traveling across the state in attempt to repeat their 76-58 win over the Tigers from last year.
However, this is not last year. Memphis is going for perfection. They are going for the first perfect season since Bobby Knight’s ’76 Indiana Hoosiers, when they went 32-0.
Memphis has been unbeaten on their home court for 47 straight games, but Tennessee brings one of the deepest teams in college basketball to the FedEx Forum. They are led by two long-range snipers in senior guards Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith, who have drained 156 combined three pointers. Their front court is led by two sophomore forwards, Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism, who are two big men that love to run the court in up-tempo games.
Tennessee has scored over 90 points seven times this season with their only two losses coming on the road against Texas and Kentucky.
For Memphis to continue on their road to perfection, junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, who shoots at an amazing 55 percent from the field, will need to defend the three point arch all night long. His help will come from one of the best freshman guards, Derrick Rose, who is averaging 14 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. Memphis also has two guys that love to pound it down low in junior Robert Dozier and senior Joey Dorsey. However, this is going to be a run-and-gun game where sophomore guard Doneal Mack could flourish.
If you are a fan of basketball, college or pro, this is the game to watch Saturday night at 9 p.m. on ESPN. FedEx Forum will be rocking with Tiger fans and a few Volunteer fans, Peyton Manning included, that dare to make the trip. The Southeastern Conference against Conference USA. Let the best team win.