The University of Memphis menâ€™s basketball team has won 11 out of 12 home games but has struggled on the road after losing seven of nine games not played in the Forum.
Memphis, Cincinnati and Houston are the only teams that have not lost a conference home game this season. It is necessary for any team to be successful on the home court to pursue any kind of bid in the NCAA tournament. Memphis has achieved dominance when they play in Memphis. Their only loss was to a Tennessee team ranked third in the nation.Â
Every team needs to establish a strong road game as well if they want to even dream about a postseason. The Tigers have only won two road games this season. They were against Tulane 4-15 (0-7American Athletic Conference) and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent Canisius Golden Griffins 8-12 (5-3 AAC). The Tigers got a decent win against Canisius, 71-63. Tulane was almost near a disaster as the Green Wave cut the lead to 83-79 as the game ended.Â
The Tigers have not scored more than 80 points any time they lost an away game this season, and all three of their conference losses have come on the road. Memphis currently sits fifth in the conference standings.
The last two home games against SMU 12-8 (4-4 AAC) and UCF 15-4 (5-2 AAC) were more or less the textbook definition of a blowout.
SMU looked to rebound against Memphis after a home court loss to Houston. However, Memphis kept that from happening by beating them 83-61. It was the second lowest score SMU produced all season.
Memphis shut down UCF 77-57 and kept UCF to its lowest score in a game all season. UCF is currently third in the conference standings, and that loss prevented them from being tied for first place along with Houston and Cincinnati.Â
The home games against UCF and SMU had more than 90 percent attendance in FedEx Forum, according to ESPN.
There have been four games the Tigers had the opportunity to play a ranked opponent, and each time they found themselves on the losing end. The first loss was an early-season matchup in Baton Rouge facing the No. 22 LSU Tigers. Then the Tigers lost to No. 20 Texas Tech in tournament play. The Tigers then lost to No. 3 Tennessee at home. Most recently, the Tigers lost to No. 19 Houston at the Fertitta Center in Houston.
There are currently no ranked teams on the Tigersâ€™s remaining schedule., but the Cincinnati Bearcats have received votes and could be ranked by the time they play Memphis in FedEx Forum on Feb. 7. Any win against a ranked team could help push them into consideration for an NCAA tournament bid.
The biggest news for the Tigers and the city of Memphis is the American AAC Menâ€™s Basketball Tournament will be hosted in Memphis in fewer than six weeks. The Tigers will have a major home court advantage if they continue their current ways. The Tigers have a strong chance of doing well, and their performance could propel them into the NCAA tournament if they can continue finding success on their home court.Â
Until then, they must turn around their away game habits and begin winning on the road. They need to start as soon as possible with their next match-up against USF in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 2.