Memphis, TN– For the seventh time in the last eight seasons, the University of Memphis Tigers basketball squad is going “dancing.” After locking up the Conference USA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with their 91-79 double-overtime league title game win Saturday, the Tigers (30-4, 16-0 C-USA) learned Sunday afternoon who and what day they will play in this year’s “Big Dance.”
The Tigers, the Midwest Region’s No. 6 seed, will face either No. 11 seed either Middle Tennessee (28-5, 19-1 Sun Belt) or No. 11 St. Mary’s (27-6, 14-2 West Coast Conference) in the NCAA Tournament second round on Thursday, Mar. 21, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Middle Tennessee and St. Mary’s will face off Tuesday in the NCAA First Four in Dayton, Ohio.
Memphis is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 11 seasons. The Tigers earned their trip to the NCAA Tournament this year by winning the Conference USA Tournament. Memphis also won the C-USA regular season crown with a perfect 16-0 league record.
This is Memphis’ 25th overall NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers have a 32-24 record in NCAA Tournament play. In its history, Memphis has made three Final Four appearances (1973, 1985, 2008), six Elite Eights and 11 Sweet Sixteens.
It is Memphis’ third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under fourth-year head coach Josh Pastner. In last year’s NCAA Tournament, the No. 8 seed Tigers dropped a 61-54 decision to No. 9 seed Saint Louis in the West Region second round.
This is Pastner’s 16th trip to the “Big Dance” in his 17 seasons in college basketball as a player, staff member, assistant coach and head coach. During his time at Arizona, Pastner was a part of 12-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament (1997-2008), including the 1997 NCAA championship squad. He was an assistant on the Memphis staff when the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2009.