After beating one of the top ACC teams, Memphis looks to make it two straight in a few days, taking on the Virginia Cavaliers.
TV schedule: Tuesday, December 19th, 7:00pm ET
Arena: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
One of the biggest winners from last week was Memphis, who defeated a previously unbeaten Clemson team at home to finally get past the barrier of not getting ranked to make the top-25 of the latest power rankings.
The star of the Clemson game was David Jones, who had a game-high 22 pts, joined but 17 pts and 6 asts from Jahvon Quinerly. Memphis (9-2) now had four Quad 1 wins and has largely handled business in the non-conference campaign, solidifying their resume for the NCAA Tournament before AAC play gets going.
The Tigers still have another opportunity for a signature win, taking on Virginia (9-1, 1-0 ACC). The Cavaliers are coming off a shaky performance, having to come back from double-digits in the second half to beat Northeastern. 56-54. Reece Beekman, the star of the team, had 21 pts and 5 asts as the lone Cav to have 10+ points.
As usual, the slow-paced Cavaliers' have one of the best scoring defenses in the country (53.3 ppg allowed) but also can barely get to 60 points on offense. They have a fairly small lineup, with no one over 6'7 starting. But the pack-line defense usually gets the job done. And without Jordan Brown or likely Nae'Qwan Tomlin, the Tigers aren't going to have the frontcourt to take advantage of that.
What they do have is a talented group of iso-scorers such as Jones and Quinerly that can cause Virginia's group some problems. It's a matchup that could ultimately come down to what kind of game Jones has. If it's a good one, Memphis should win. But if the likes of Leon Bond and Ryan Dunn shut him down, look for UVA to get the win.
Prediction: Virginia 66, Memphis 62