Posted March 26, 2013
MEMPHIS TIGERS WRAP UP 2012-13 SEASON WITH TOURNAMENT LOSS
William Larsha, Jr., Columnist/Sports Reporter
Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
MEMPHIS, TN- The Memphis Tigers' season came to a
crashing end with a 70-48 loss to Michigan State last Saturday in
the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament near Detroit. After the Tigers
won their first tournament game under Coach Josh Pastner on the
previous Thursday beating St. Mary's, they ran into a bigger,
tougher opponent in Michigan State. The team started slowly in the
first half giving up a sizable lead to the Spartans, but closed well
to be only down 32-29 at halftime. In the second half, the Tigers'
shots just would not fall.
They relied on three point attempts, but
only shot 29%. Michigan State increased the lead due to poor Tiger
rebounding and eventually won the contest by 22 points.
With the loss, the Tigers finished an otherwise successful season
ending with a record of 31-5. They were 19-0 in Conference USA
winning both the regular season and tournament titles. The St.
Mary's win was Josh Pastner's first over a top 25 team in his four
year tenure as head coach. Players such as guard Joe Jackson showed
tremendous improvement over the course of the season. Jackson, as
well as juniors Chris Crawford, Tarick Black, and Adonnis Thomas are
expected to return next year for their senior campaigns.
The future promises to be even brighter as the Tigers boast the
number 2 ranked recruiting class for next year. The class includes
Memphians Nick King from East High and Austin Nichols of Briarcrest,
two of the most sought after players in the country. Additionally,
Pastner is expected to sign an extension to his contract to remain
head coach in light of rumors that schools such as Southern
California might be trying to lure him away. The Tigers will also be
moving to a new conference which is expected to provide better
competition and preparation for the NCAA at the end of the season.
Though this year's tournament may not have ended the way Tiger
Nation had hoped it would, they have a lot to look forward to for