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November 22, 2012

Tigers Set to Battle VCU in Next Round of Battle 4 Atlantis

Memphis meets VCU Thursday, Nov. 22 in a 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis quarterfinal match-up. Game time is 6 p.m. (CT) at the Imperial Arena in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The games will be televised on the NBC Sports Network . In Memphis, these are the available channels and service providers to choose from: AT&T U-verse channel 640; Comcast Digital channel 224; DirecTV channel 220; and DISH Network channel 159.

Fans can also tune in through AXS.TV on the following channels: AT&T U-verse 1106, Charter 857, DirecTV 340, and DISH Network 362.

For those who prefer radio, the team of Dave Woloshin (play-by-play), Matt Dillon (color analyst) and Forrest Goodman (studio host) can be heard Thursday/Friday on the U of M radio network's 600 WREC (AM). Saturday the feed will be live on Rock 103 (102.7 FM).

Thursday's game is the Tigers' second contest in the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis. Memphis opened play in the Battle 4 Atlantis with a 65-54 victory over Samford at FedExForum Nov. 17.

The Tigers are ranked in both national polls, coming in No. 19 in the Associated Press poll and No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

Memphis opened its 2012-13 campaign with an 81-66 win over North Florida Nov. 12.

Memphis returns four starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's squad.

VCU started the 2012-13 campaign with a 2-1 record. The Rams posted wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Winthrop and dropped a narrow decision to Wichita State.

VCU returns 10 letterwinners and four starters from its 2011-12 squad that went 29-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament third round.

WHAT'S UP NEXT

The Tigers continue play in the Battle 4 Atlantis Friday, Nov. 23. Memphis will play either Duke or Minnesota at 12 or 6 p.m. (CT).

WHAT THE TIGERS DID A YEAR AGO

Memphis finished 2011-12 with a 26-9 overall record and a 13-3 Conference USA mark (1st place). The Tigers swept the 2011-12 Conference USA titles, taking both the regular season and tournament crowns. It was the fifth time in the last seven years that Memphis swept the C-USA championships.

Joe Jackson was named the C-USA Tournament MVP for a second-straight year. Jackson became the first player in league history to receive consecutive C-USA Tournament MVP honors.

The Tigers earned C-USA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and dropped a 61-54 decision to Saint Louis in the second round.

WHAT THE RAMS DID A YEAR AGO

VCU posted a 29-7 overall record and a 15-3 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) mark. The Rams finished third in the CAA regular season and won the CAA Tournament title.

VCU received the CAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the "Big Dance's" third round.

SCOUTING THE RAMS

VCU brings a 2-1 record into Thursday's match-up. The Rams have wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Winthrop and a loss to Wichita State.

Juvonte Reddic (16.3 ppg), Darius Theus (10.7 ppg) and Treveon Graham (10.7 ppg) all average in double figures. Reddic leads VCU on the glass with an 8.7 rebounding average, while Theus is tops on the team with 16 assists (5.3 apg).

The Rams have four players that shoot over 40 percent from the arc.VCU is shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, 37.7 percent from the arc and 64.9 percent from the free throw line.

The Rams are out-rebounding their foes by an average margin of +5.4 boards per contest (37.7-32.4) and are forcing opponents to turn the ball over nearly 20 times per game (19.7).

MEMPHIS VS. THE ATLANTIC 10

Memphis has an all-time record of 68-66 against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Tigers have played Charlotte (8-6), Dayton (7-12), Duquesne (0-2), Fordham (2-1), George Washington (0-1), La Salle (1-1), Massachusetts (1-2), Rhode Island (0-1), Richmond (4-0), St. Bonaventure (1-1), Saint Joseph's (1-1), Saint Louis (32-26), Temple (5-5), VCU (4-1) and Xavier (2-6).

The last time the Tigers played an Atlantic 10 foe was last season. In fact, Memphis played three Atlantic 10 schools in 2011-12. The Tigers defeated Charlotte 67-58 and Xavier 72-68 in regular-season play and fell to Saint Louis 61-54 in the NCAA Tournament second round.

THE TIE THAT BINDS

Although the two programs have met sparingly through the years, Memphis and VCU have a strong tie: Dana Kirk served as head coach at both schools.

Kirk was VCU's head coach from 1976-79 and led the Rams to two 20-win campaigns and one National Invitation Tournament (NIT). After his three years at VCU, Kirk came to Memphis, where he coached the Tigers from 1979-86.

Kirk guided the Tigers to five 20-win campaigns, three Metro Conference regular-season titles, three Metro Conference Tournament crowns and five NCAA Tournaments. He was the second coach in Memphis history to lead the Tigers to the NCAA Final Four in 1985. Kirk's 1984-85 Tigers squad went 31-4, posting the first 30-win season in school history.

Kirk passed away Feb. 15, 2010, from a heart attack.

TIGERS' ALL-TIME, OFF-THE-MAINLAND RECORD

Memphis has an all-time record of 14-15 when playing regular-season contests off the mainland. In addition to their non-continental tournament participation, the Tigers played at Hawaii three times and have a 1-2 record in those games.

Memphis played at Hawaii in the 1951-52 and 1973-74 campaigns. The Tigers and Rainbow Warriors played back-to-back games in early March in the 1973-74 season.


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