College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon: No. 10 Memphis vs. Belmont

12:08 – Definitely one of the most anticipated games of the day as the Bruins, fresh off a one-point loss at Duke, travel to Memphis to face the tenth-ranked Tigers.

A classic case of a younger, more talented team facing a more experienced, less talented team. I’m going with the talent and the home court advantage here and saying Memphis hands the Bruins a second straight heartbreaking loss. Tigers by four.

12:13 - Memphis uses an 8-0 run to jump out to an early 11-4 lead. Also, the Tigers are wearing some throwback jerseys that are just fantastic.

12:14 - According to Jameson Fleming, after WVU's loss, only the Big 12, ACC and Mountain West remain undefeated as a conference.

12:21 - Belmont hasn't made a field goal and Memphis has scored 13 straight. Tigers lead it 16-4 after six minutes. Surely this won't last.

12:25 - It didn't last. Three straight Belmont baskets make it 16-11.

12:27 - Jimmy Dykes has already called Brad Nessler "partner" at least five times. I bet if you give Nessler three drinks he'll spend 15 minutes talking about how much he hates it.

12:30 - Dykes says if Memphis' Wesley Witherspoon focuses on basketball he can be an All-"CSUA" player. And I meant to spell "CSUA" like that.

12:31 - North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall:

Screen_shot_2011-11-15_at_12

12:37 - Memphis' length and athleticism is the difference to this point, which I suppose should be expected. Belmont's not going to go away though. This will be a game for 40 minutes. Tigers lead 29-21. Wesley Witherspoon is 5-for-5 from the field and has 13 points. Dude could totally by All-CSUA.

12:45 - Belmont looking much more comfortable and the lead is down to two at 29-27. Easily the best first half of the day so far.

12:47 - I'll say this about Memphis: they certainly appear to have better shooters on this team than they have in years past. Several guys have really confident strokes. It no longer looks like the majority of the team is shocked when they see one of their three-pointers go down. Tiger lead is 34-32 nearing the four minute mark.

12:50 - Neither team can get a stop right now. Great offensive basketball on both ends of the floor. 39-36, Memphis with 2:34 left in the half.

1:03 - Witherspoon has 16 points, Joe Jackson 11 and Will Barton 10 as Memphis leads Belmont 46-39 at the break.

1:22 - Belmont comes right out and buries a three, but Memphis responds with three straight baskets to push the lead to 11. Tigers look awfully crisp for this being their first game.

1:27 - Memphis doing absolutely whatever it wants on the offensive end of the floor. Largest lead of the game for the Tigers at 59-44. Critical stretch here for Belmont.

1:35 - Game officials have removed the sponsor stickers from the playing floor after multiple players slipped. Needs to be done before every one of these tournament games. Memphis still up 15 at 63-48.

1:41 - Wesley Witherspoon still has not missed a shot. He's 7-of-7 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He leads all scorers with 20 points and Memphis leads by 18. I definitely did not see this coming, but it's been quite the overall performance by the Tigers.

1:47 - Belmont making one last push as the lead is down to 73-61 with 9:22 to go.

1:51 - Witherspoon's lack of maturity strikes again as he commits a flagrant foul for no apparent reason. Exactly the type of thing that could keep him from being All-CSUA. Lead is down to seven all of the sudden.

2:00 - Great look at the throwback Memphis uniforms that are being worn in honor of Larry Finch.

2:05 - It appears Memphis may have finally weathered the storm for good. UM responded to every Belmont bucket down the stretch with a much easier basket on the other end. Tigers lead 88-77 with just over three minutes to go.

2:17 - Memphis wins it 97-81 and gives easily the most impressive performance of the day. Belmont fails to pull a signature victory out in either of its major chances and falls to 0-2.

Game Rating: 6

Surprised the Bruins could never get it within a couple of possessions in the second half, but that's more of a credit to Memphis than anything else

Prediction Result: 6-1

Back on track

Consumption: 1 mountain dew, 1 order of Dominos chicken tenders, 1 order of Dominos cheesy bread (partial)

Back on track.

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