What an incredible game last night between Tennessee and Memphis. I thought both teams played pretty good basketball, but Meimphis' defense against Lofton was amazing. Still, it wasn't enough as the Tigers fell to the Volunteers.
Michael David Smith at Fanhouse saw it as an example of just how tough it is to go undefeated:
Tennessee will be the new No. 1 team in the country, and the old No. 1 isn't undefeated anymore. The Volunteers' 66-62 win at Memphis Saturday night changed the top of the college basketball rankings and showed just how hard it is to make it through a season unbeaten.Jon at Fulmers' Belly saw this as a team win, no MVP necessary:
Is there an MVP for this game? No. Why? Because this was as big of a team win as there has ever been. What would be an individual performance that you could single out? Lofton’s ice cold free throws to seal the game? Tyler Smith’s multiple baskets and rbounds? JP Prince’s ridiculous second half? JaJuan Smith’s insane first half? Brian Williams or Duke Crews’ presence in the paint? This, was a team win.I think he is largely right, although I would have given Tyler Smith the MVP if it was up to me. Smith hit the big shot that put UT ahead for good, and Tennessee sealed it with good free throw shooting.
Michael David Smith at Fanhouse also blogs Bruce Pearl's rather physical interview with Erin Andrews, and includes video:
Andrews asked Pearl, "Coach, what has Memphis done to Chris Lofton in the first half?"Indeed. Andrews was obviously very surprised and embarassed by the contact, although I thought she handled it quite professionally. Memo to Bruce: Keep your hands of the sportsbabes, dude.
Pearl responded, "Hold him. Drape him like this." At that point, Pearl proceeded to put Andrews in a bear hug, and a shocked Andrews said, "OK."
Bobby O'Shea at Vanderbilt Sports Line says the Commodore's upcoming game with Tennessee doesn't get any bigger:
Vanderbilt's game against Tennessee is the biggest regular season game the Commodores have played in a long time...maybe ever. If that seems hyperbolic, trust me...it's not. The Tennessee/Memphis game was one of the best games of the season, and one that most sports fans were watching. That means they'll be watching Tuesday at 9. The "they," in this case, is America. Vanderbilt's "big games" are often limited to regional coverage or ESPN Full Court and Raycom. Not Tuesday. Vanderblit hasn't lost in 30 games at Memorial, they've won 6 straight in conference, and beat the #1 team in America last season at home.All that is true, but if the Commodores try to beat Tennessee at their own game, like they did in Thompson-Boling, they will be in for another beating. You must slow Tennessee down to have a chance to beat them and minimize the impact of their depth. If you try to run with them, you will lose.
Well done, Volunteers. You are #1 in the land for the first time in history. As a Kentucky fan, I can't say I know what the first time ever feels like, but it has been a while since the Cats were up there, and I know I enjoyed it when they were.