Sports 56 WHBlog Q

April 7, 2008

Grizzlies-Suns Preview

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 10:40 am

Just kidding.

I’m not really sure what the exact impact of a Memphis win would be. Memphis is a town that’s so divided in so many ways–corruption in city government, racial tension, and on a much less important level, a lot of allegiances to a lot of different teams. As fractured as this city is sometimes, the one thing that seems to transcend racial and social boundaries is sports, and no team more so than the Tigers. A win tonight for the Tigers would be something that this city could be proud of in a city that so very rarely has something to be proud of. The Memphis Tigers are a microcosm of this city in many ways. Yes, they’ve had their fair share of problems. Yes, nationally they are not the most beloved of programs. But like this city, despite all of their warts, they are still great, and something to be cherished.

Tonight’s national championship game is a matchup of two extremely similar (at least in a broad sense) teams. Both like to play fast and both play suffocating defense. Both looked absolutely awesome on Saturday and dispatched of their opponents rather easily.

The key for the Tigers is guard play. No one in this tournament has been able to match up with Douglas-Roberts and Rose. The Tigers will have the two best players on the floor tonight. One area that Kansas will have the advantage, though, is in the frontcourt. Kansas is incredibly big and incredibly deep, with four guys over 6’9 to throw at you. How Dorsey and Dozier play tonight will also be key. Kansas did a great job against North Carolina of taking advantage of North Carolina’s defensive aggressiveness–backdoor cuts killed UNC on Saturday, but Memphis is a more disciplined defensive team than North Carolina, while still being aggressive.

I think Kansas is the deepest team in the country with more NBA players than anyone else. We’ve seen that win championships in the past. But tonight, the two best players on the floor will be in a Tiger uniform, and to me, that will be more than Kansas can handle.

Memphis 76, Kansas 70.

Be sure and tune in throughout the day and after the game as Peter Edmiston and Eli Savoie are live in San Antonio for the championship. Log on to http://www.sports56whbq.com for postgame video from the Tiger locker room.

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