Tennessee won the most hyped basketball game of the college basketball season and its school history, 66-62 at #1 Memphis. The game never had a margin of more than seven points. The atmosphere was unbelievable. Tickets were reportedly scalped for in excess of $1600 with celebrities like Peyton Manning and Priscilla Presley in attendance. It was only the fifth time in history that a game pitted the nation’s top two teams in an in-state rivalry.
The new additions from last year led both teams. Memphis freshman Derrick Rose carried the Tigers with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Tennessee sophomore transfers Tyler Smith (16, 6) and J.P. Prince (13, 8) were also impressive, with Smith hitting what essentially prove to be the game winning bucket.
Prince, a 48% free throw shooter, iced the game hitting his free throws in a one-and-one opportunity in crunch time. He also had six consecutive points to evoke a Memphis timeout in one critical juncture. The Memphis native had been misnamed by coach John Calipari (“P.J.”)” during the week and taken grief from players.
Memphis had been 26-0 and had won 47 consecutive home games.
Presumably, Tennessee will now be the #1 team in the country when Monday’s polls are released.
The only thing left to say - I love Bruce Pearl!