Tyler Smith’s dad is smiling on him right now. With the clutch basket at the end of the game to seal the fate for Memphis, Tyler was able to do what he had to do when he had to do it to get the win.
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.
Just to give an idea of how big the game was, by the time it was over, I realized that they showed Peyton’s face once throughout the entire game. During the Super Bowl, the cameras cut to Peyton about 950 times, this game was just that exciting.
The #1 vs. #2 game actually lived up to the hype, which is sometimes hard to do, and Tennessee was able to survive a few tense moments in order to pull out the win. Oh, and I’m wearing my bright orange Duck Head shorts purchased from Goody’s. So, I take credit for the win as well.
The first half was actually a reversal of roles with Memphis knocking down all manner of 3 point shots, and Tennessee playing a strong inside/motion type game, keeping the game close with offensive rebounds and put backs. Unbelievably, at the half, Tennessee was only down by 1 after having survived the early barrage.
The second half was a stark contrast, with Tennessee going on a bit of a run, running up a 7 point lead, before Memphis pushed back and even took the lead near the end of the game with a few timely offensive rebounds. It was not to be however, as the Achilles heel of Memphis’ team caught up to them as they missed every other free throw attempted (including front ends of several 1 and 1’s).
You know, there are several kinds of wins. Ones that you expect to win, ones that you’re surprised to win, and others that you hope you win, but generally speaking, afterwards, you try to be sportsmanlike, and congratulate your opponent on a hard fought battle. I think the Memphis players should be commended for playing hard (kind of dirty at times, but I’m sure it went both ways), but as far as for their coach? Eeh ehhh…!
Vols 3:16 says, we’re number 1?
I really don’t have any sort of sympathy or well wishes for Calipari, mainly because he’s a huge douchebag, and also because he tries a little too hard to knock Tennessee, Bruce Pearl, and anyone that doesn’t like his weird, ugly face. Even during his post-game press conference, his thinly veiled barbs at Tennessee were evident (to me anyway, but I’m a super-duper homer, so take that with a grain of sea salt).
Maybe I’m being a sore winner, but you know what? It’s more fun to be a sore winner than a sore loser. So, I’ll sign off by saying to Calipari:
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