MEMPHIS – From Selection Sunday to Satisfaction Monday.
Penny Hardaway and the Tigers are not only heading to a second straight NCAA Tournament, they do so as tournament champions for the first time in a decade.
Where are all those Penny doubters… now.
Hardaway’s decision to bring in top transfer Kendric Davis was the catalyst for his winningest season in five years at his alma mater.
This Tiger team winning 26 games.
They beat the number one team in the country for the first time ever and won the AAC Tournament for the first time ever.
Hardaway even took a moment on Sunday to let it all sink in.
“You think about all the hard times that you had to go through, just to fight and scratch. I came in right out of the gates saying that we were going to be NCAA champions. I wanted to be an NCAA champion. First you have to start with conference,” Hardaway said. “I hold myself to a high standard when it comes to coaching because there’s a lot on my back, being from the city, and this thing coming full circle and being a player at the university. So I want to do really well, and when we’re failing, it really bothers me. Right now I’m going to definitely have fun and enjoy this.”
With the Tigers playing their best basketball of the season, what better time to finally crack the A.P. Top 25.
It might have taken all year but Memphis is there when it matters most. In March.
Thanks to Sunday’s win in the AAC Tournament finals, the Tigers are ranked 24th in the country as the NCAA Tournament gets set to begin.