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AAC action here as the Memphis Tigers travel to take on the Tulane Green Wave. Tulane has really struggled this year, while Memphis has had some nice moments under new coach Penny Hardaway but has been inconsistent. Oddsmakers have the Tigers as double digit road favorites here for this one, which will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Memphis Wins Five of Six
Memphis started the season off a little slow, but has come along strong recently, winning five of their last six contests. The offseason hiring of former NBA star Penny Hardaway brought a lot of buzz back to the program that it hasn’t had in years, and the team looks really energized.
Although their record on the season isn’t great, they’ve played a very tough schedule and all of their losses have been to good teams. They’ve played pretty close games against elite teams like Texas Tech and Tennessee, and the only non-power conference team they lost to was a good Charleston team, in a game that was decided by just three points on a neutral court.
Memphis & Tennessee players got into a exchange during the 2nd half that led to multiple technical fouls.
Kyvon Davenport on what happened:
“We’re not gonna get disrespected at home” pic.twitter.com/OEXKkhuVkg
— Devin Walker (@Devin_Walker2) December 15, 2018
Conversely, none of their wins have been that close and I have plenty of confidence in them to beat up on bad teams like Tulane. None of their ten wins have been by less than six points, and six of them have been by double digits. They shoot the ball way better from deep than Tulane does, and should be able to shoot them out of the gym. Memphis has three great scorers who all average at least 13.5 points per game, and they should feast on Tulane’s worst in the conference defense. Memphis will win this game, and it should come pretty easily.
Tulane is looking like the worst team in the AAC, and it isn’t particularly close. Tulane hasn’t been great in recent years, but it’s still a dramatic fall for a program that looked decent last year and sent not one but two guys to the NBA. The team has really struggled to replace Melvin Frazier, who got drafted by the Magic, and they’re undergoing one of the biggest step backs in all of college basketball.
Things actually started off decently for Mike Dunleavy’s squad, with most of their losses being pretty close, but things went south in a hurry over the past month+. They enter this game on a five-game losing streak, and they’ve had some pretty embarrassing losses recently. Each of their last six losses have come by at least eight points, and one of them was to Alabama A & M. That loss was one of the most humiliating I can recall seeing recently, as Alabama A&M was 0-11 at the time, and was rated as the third worst team in D-I basketball by Kenpom.
Tulane shot just 36.7% from the field against Alabama A&M, and has no shooters on the team. They shoot just 32.6% from three on the year and less than 65% from the free throw line. It’s looked almost like the team has quit on Dunleavy recently, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s fired soon. Their schedule really toughens up over the next couple of weeks as the AAC is surprisingly strong this year, so I don’t expect them to break out of their slump any time soon.
Green Wave are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- 18-38-3 ATS in their last 59 home games
- 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games after scoring less than 50 points in their previous game
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Tigers a lot here. Memphis has beaten up on weaker teams all season long, while Tulane is getting blown out on a near nightly basis. Memphis have embraces the role of road warriors, and have only had an against the spread loss in one of their last eight road games. They’ll outshoot Tulane easily, and win this game by closer to 20.
Prediction: Memphis -10
Full-Game Total Pick
Tulane has a terrible defense, and Memphis plays at one of the fastest paces in all of D-I basketball. That’s a recipe for a ton of points, and I like the over a lot here. Tulane has routinely given up 80+ points to good teams, and I think Memphis could crack 90 here. The total points scored should at least end up in the 160’s.