Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights – NCAAM March 12

American Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal

(3) Memphis (15-7, 11-4) vs. (6) UCF

  • Time: 7PM PST | 9PM CST | 10PM EST
  • Location: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX
  • TV: ESPNU

Opening Tip

UCF took a 72-62 win over East Carolina last night as the Knights have won five in a row and then seven of the last nine games and Coach Johnny Dawkins team is playing it’s best basketball of the season right now.

Memphis is one of the hottest teams in the nation and is playing it’s best basketball of the season as well. The Tigers have won nine out of 11 and need a win here against UCF and they are probably in the NCAA Tournament. Get a win over Houston – the Cougars are likely to beat Tulane – and the Tigers are not only in, but should have a solid seed.

The Tigers won a back-to-back against in the knight in February by 27 and 14 points. The two teams have split two games in the AAC Tournament.

Vs. The Spread

UCF:

  • The Knights are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The total has gone over in 4 of the last 6 games for UCF
  • The Knights are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games

Memphis:

  • The Tigers are a whopping 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 5 of the last 6 Memphis Tigers games
  • The UNDER has been the call in 4 of the last 6 Memphis-UCF encounters

Last Time Out

Darius Perry scored 15 points and Avery Diggs had 12 as UCF outlasted East Carolina, 72-62. The Knights led from the point of when they took a 4-2 lead and never looked back as they shot 47.2 percent from the field and out rebounded the Pirates, 37-31.

The Tigers lost, 67-64, at Houston on Sunday as Tramon Mark hit a buzzer-beater to lift the Cougars. Landers Nolley II had 14 points and Lester Quinones and DeAndre Williams posted 11 each for Memphis.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
UCF +7 (-103) +250 O 135 (-115)
Memphis -7 (-117) -300 U 135 (-105)

Advantage, UCF

UCF Knights LogoThe Knights have hit another gear during their 5-game winning streak as they are averaging 74.8 points per game which is 7.3 points above the 67.5 points per game average. The Knights have also shot 48.5 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from three. Again these numbers on average are way over the 43.3 and 35.9 percent of the season. Darius Perry (14.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg) has been a key leader in the surge as he has averaged 17.4 points per game therein.

Key Knights Stat:

Isaiah Adams (9.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg) has been big time for the Knights in their surge as he has averaged 17.4 points as well along side of Perry. He has also made 28-of-49 field goals in fueling UCF as an athletic 6-6 small forward.

X-Factor:

Darin Green, Jr. (11.7 ppg, 36.6%-3) and Brandon Mahan (12.4 ppg, 44% -3) join Perry in a solid three-point attack for the Knights. The Tigers lead the AAC in three-point defense as they allow only 26.8 percent from behind the arc, so if Memphis is as tight as they usually are on the perimeter, players like Adams and Dre Fuller have to be effective to free the perimeter defense.

Advantage, Memphis

Memphis Tigers LogoOn the other side of the three-point line, the Tigers are third in the AAC behind UCF and Houston in three-point percentage at 35.5 percent as the three are within four percentage points of each other. Landers Nolley II (13.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Boogie Ellis (9.3 ppg, 38%-3) and Lester Quinones (9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) have orchestrated this part of the offense as they have combined for 119 of Memphis’s 166 made threes. DeAndre Williams (10.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg) gives the Tigers that old school style of game where he can go inside-outside with his 6-9 athletic frame. Moussa Cisse (7.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg)has been a mainstay as a freshman center in making 54.8 percent of his shots and blocking 41 on the defensive end.

Key Tigers Stat:

If the Tigers can ever cut the turnovers consistently, the opportunities for them to advance in the AAC and NCAA Tournament become even more solid. They have averaged 17.6 turnovers in their last five games and average 16 turnovers per game this season. Thinking in terms of points, their last five opponents have scored 72 points and, if you think about empty offensive possessions, cut those 88 turnovers in half and look how many scoring opportunities that are there for the taking.

X-Factor:

Memphis is a talented offensive team and points off turnovers work of course in the favor of offensive efficiency. Ironically, they force 16.4 turnovers just like the give away 16.4 turnovers per game. The Tigers have scored 68 points off of turnovers in their last five games. This further illustrates how the stat above can be turned into the Tigers’ favor with better execution in the half-court.

Winner: Memphis (-7) 71, UCF 62

The Bets
Memphis Tigers -7
-117
Memphis Tigers
-300
UNDER 135
-105
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.