(Memphis) The Memphis Tigers are flying high right now headed to Detroit. Also up in the air? Who’ll they’ll be playing in the NCCAA Tournament Thursday.
They plan to get a practice in tomorrow before they square-off against either Saint Mary’s or Middle Tennessee State University.
Police escorted the players to the tarmac with very little fanfare.
“I drove from Olive Branch,” said Fan Wendell Davis.
Only one die-hard fan was there to send them off, “I just want to wish them well.”
The Tigers have a chance to carve a path to the final four but they have to get through the first game of the tournament. Who they’ll square off against won’t be decided until late Tuesday night.
“Whether it is Saint Mary’s or Middle Tennessee State – two good teams – know we are going to have to beat a high level,” said University of Memphis Basketball Coach Josh Pastner.
The Memphis Tiger’s got their spot in the tournament by beating Southern Mississippi Saturday in a nail-biting double overtime game. U of M President Shirley Raines, who’s traveling with the team, says she lost her voice cheering for them, “Because we had those two overtimes. That was pretty exciting.”
“I really think the two overtime championship game on Saturday was good for us because it tested our character,” said Pastner. “I think that right there will help us this week.”
Pastner says that mindset and landing shots are what will put the team on top, “I believe we are good enough to get to the final four but you can’t get to the final four if you don’t win Thursday.”
Saint Mary’s and Middle Tennessee State tip-off will be at 8:10 p.m. central time Tuesday.
The Tiger’s big game will be airing on News Channel 3 Thursday around 1:45 p.m.