Memphis Tigers at South Florida Bulls – NCAAM March 2

Memphis (14-6, 10-3) at South Florida (8-10, 4-8)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, FL
  • TV: ESPNU

Tip-Off

The streaking Memphis Tigers roll into Tampa with a five game winning streak as they have won eight out of their last nine games. The Tigers are currently sitting at third in the AAC with a 10-3 record as they are tied int he loss column with Houston and one game behind Wichita State.

For South Florida, it looked like a season of promise, but COVID-19 protocols derailed the conference season as they had seven games postponed between Jan. 9 and Feb. 10. They have lost five out of their last six and are in eighth place in the AAC.

Memphis has a 28-7 lead in the series and the Tigers have won 12 out of 15 in Tampa.

Memphis shaded USF, 58-57, at FedEx Forum back on Dec. 29 as the Tigers erased a 12-point deficit midway through the second half. Lester Quinones hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:08 to go which gave Memphis a 58-55 lead.

Vs. The Spread

Memphis:

  • The Tigers check in at 8-1 ATS in their lat 9 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 15 of the Tigers’ last 20 games
  • Memphis is 1-5 ATS o their last 6 games vs. USF

South Florida:

  • The Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of the Bulls’ last 7 games
  • USF is 1-6 ATS in it’s last 7 home games

Last Time Out

Memphis placed five players in double figures as the Tigers took fan 80-74 win at Cincinnati on Sunday. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak at Cincinnati where they last won in 2007. Boogie Ellis led the Tigers attack with 17 points while Landers Nolley had 14. DeAndre Williams had 10 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.

Quentin Grimes scored 16 first half points in a row as Houston blew out to a huge first half lead to rout South Florida, 98-52, on Sunday in Houston. Xavier Castaneda led USF with 11 points and Caleb Murphy added 10 as the Bulls trailed 54-16 with four minutes to go in the first half. The Bulls were without Alexis Yetna, Mike Durr, and Rashun Williams, as they were out with injuries.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Memphis -9 (-107) -415 O 135 (-110)
South Florida +9 (-113) +335 U 135 (-110)

Advantage, Memphis

Memphis Tigers LogoThe Tigers are a very tough team to defend because they feature seven players who average between 13.3 points and 6.4 per game. Landers Nolley, II, (13.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and DeAndre Williams (10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are the two leading scorers as Nolley, the Virginia Tech transfer, and leads the Tigers’ three-point game with 48 as he shoots 38.1 percent from distance. On the flip side, coach Penny Hardaway’s teams have defended at a high clip since he came back to his alma mater. This team limits opponents to 38.8 percent from the floor and 27.7 percent from three and they register 9.2 steals per game, led by 34 from Alex Lomax.

Key Tigers Stat:

The Tigers have picked up their offensive game immeasurably over their last eight games as they have shot 47 percent from the floor over that period while making 40.7 percent from three in making 8.6 trifectas per outing. They are averaging 26.5 points per game off the bench in their last four games.

X-Factor:

Freshman big man Moussa Cisse has a direct impact on the Tigers fortunes. In the Memphis wins, he averages 8.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. In the losses, these numbers drop to 4.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Advantage, South Florida

South Florida Bulls LogoCoach Brian Gregory’s teams have always played with grit and determination and although they team has struggled of late, they get on the offensive boards and keep possessions alive. USF has a 238-155 advantage on the offensive glass this season and have more second chance points in 13 of their 18 games and they have scored 41 more second chance points than their opponents.

Key Bulls Stat:

Finding offense has been a major problem for South Florida as the Bulls shoot only 40.8 percent on the season in scoring 66.3 points per game. They have shot only 34.3 percent from the floor in their last four game which have equated to three losses.

X-Factor:

Scorers have to emerge and remain consistent as the Bulls’ effective field goal efficiency rating is 321st in the NCAA. The guards getting into the paint and converting or big men in Alexis Yetna and Mike Durr posting up and scoring haven’t been consistent at all as the Bulls are 340th in two-point percentage (340th/NCAA). Yetna has had a tough run as he was the Freshman of the Year in the American two years ago, went down with a season ending knee injury on the Friday before the first game last season, and then had his third year interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yetna is a big time player who can be a factor in the future if breaks just go his way.

Winner: Memphis (-9) 72, USF 57

The Bets
Memphis Tigers -9
-107
Memphis Tigers
-415
UNDER 135
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.