Memphis Tigers at UCF Knights – NCAAM January 5

Memphis (6-4, 2-1) at UCF (3-3, 1-2)

  • Time: 6PM PST, 8PM CST and 9PM EST
  • Location: Addition Financial Arena, Orlando, FL
  • NAT TV: ESPNU

Series

The Tigers check in at 24-6 in the all-time series, but they have lost three of their last four matchups in Orlando. Memphis posted a 59-57 win last season at UCF when Lance Thomas scored 20 points, including a pair of late 3-pointers. Boogie Ellis added 13 to help the Tigers snap a 2-game losing streak. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and UCF’s Johnny Dawkins are two of 26 current head coaches who have played in the NBA.

Vs. The Spread

The Tigers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games as the total has gone UNDER in 10 of the last 12. Memphis is 3-6 ATS in the last nine games vs. UCF. The UNDER has been the play in six of UCF’s last nine games as the total has also gone UNDER in four of the last six between the Knights and the Tigers.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Memphis -2 (-117) -138 O 137 (-105)
UCF +2 (-103) +118 U 137 (-115)

Last Time Out

The Tigers had Saturday’s game at Temple postponed due to contact tracing within the Owls’ program. They slipped past South Florida, 58-57, last Tuesday when they came from 12-points behind with 10 minutes to play.

The Knights dropped their second in a row in Tampa on Saturday as South Florida took a 68-61 win. Darius Perry led all scorers with 23 points as leading scorer Brandon Mahan was held to two points on three field goal attempts in 32 minutes.

Tiger Tales

Memphis Tigers LogoDefensively, Memphis is again one of the top teams in the nation as they are 11th in defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com. This starts with holding opponents to 39.1 percent from the field while they only shoot the triple at 30.4. It ends at the rim where there is a major shot-blocking presence in freshman Moussa Cisse who has 19 blocks and leads Memphis in rebounds with 7.8 per game.

Check out Memphis’s new “lion” offense which was installed by Hardaway prior to the win over USF. It encourages a free-flowing attack and allows for one-on-one matchups for the guards while give more options in the post for the bigs. Memphis assisted 17 of 24 makes in that win over the Bulls.

Behind the Sword

UCF Knights LogoTigers guard Landers Nolley continues to lead Memphis in scoring (14.4 ppg) with his 25 triples and 83.3 free throw percentage and UCF defends the three at a high percentage – 31 percent – as well so ball pressure on the perimeter will be important in holding down Nolley as well as Boogie Ellis (16 3s) and Lester Quinones (15 3s). Rebounding margin has to have Dawkins worried as well as UCF is (-4.3) while the Tigers post (+6.6). The athleticism of Dre Fuller will be needed on the glass as he leads UCF with 5.8 rebounds per outing.

The Knights are going to look to get Brandon Mahan shots early after his struggles on Saturday. Mahan has also made 28-of-30 free throws in getting to the rim regularly. Darin Green, Jr., has made 15-of-31 baskets in his last three games and is another good complement to Mahan on the perimeter.

Dawkins hopes to have freshman Isaiah Adams back in the line up as he missed the USF game with an illness. The former Florida Mr. Basketball leads the AAC with 2.0 steals per contest.

Winner: Memphis (-2) 67, UCF 62
Over-Under: Take UNDER 137

The Bets
Memphis Tigers -2
-117
UNDER 137
-115
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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.