The University of Memphis will dance again. Having lost decisively in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals last Thursday, the Tigers will aim to erase the sting next Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina. Memphis (23-9) was given the eighth seed in the East region of the NCAA tournament and will face 9th-seeded George Washington (24-8) in a second-round game. (Four opening-round games will be played Tuesday night.) Memphis senior forward David Pellom transferred to the U of M from George Washington before the 2013-14 season.
Should the Tigers survive the Colonials, they'll likely play top-seeded Virginia in the third round on Sunday. The Cavaliers open play Friday against Coastal Carolina. Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, no 16-seed has defeated a number-one.
Along with Virginia (28-6), the other top seeds are Florida (32-2) in the South, Arizona (30-4) in the West, and Wichita State (34-0) in the Midwest.
Three other teams from the AAC qualified for the tournament. Louisville is the fourth seed in the Midwest, Cincinnati is the fifth seed in the East, and Connecticut is the seventh seed in the East. SMU did not make the field after being upset by Houston in the quarterfinals of the AAC tourney in Memphis.
This marks the second time in three seasons the Tigers have been seeded eighth for the Big Dance. In 2012, they lost to Saint Louis in their opening game. The lowest Memphis has been seeded before reaching the Sweet 16 is sixth (1984, 1992, and 1995).
More tomorrow on the Tigers' prospects in their fourth NCAA tournament appearance under coach Josh Pastner.