16. Memphis (15-3)
This is an interesting season for Penny Hardaway’s bunch, who were left behind in the AAC as Houston and others exited a league that looks very different. Florida Atlantic entered the season as the big name in the league, but the Tigers proceeded to win game after game in nonconference play to build their own name and resume. Memphis entered this week sitting pretty and likely as the favorites in this conference.
They’d then run their winning streak to ten on Sunday with a wild 112-86 road win over Wichita State. An offensive explosion involved six Tigers in double figures, led by 23-point efforts from both Jahvon Quinerly and Jaykwon Walton. Unfortunately, things went quite awry on Thursday, as the Tigers blew a 20-point lead, losing 74-73 at home to South Florida. Their long winning streak came to an end as Memphis wasted a solid 25-point effort from David Jones, who just continues to perform for this program.
You could easily make the argument that Memphis is still the best team in the AAC, but you could also argue that this was an accident waiting to happen. They’ve already had several close calls in conference play, and their defense had two terrible outings back-to-back before this loss happened. Regardless, Hardaway and crew have the ability to brush this off and bounce back and will try to do so at Tulane and UAB.