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Posted March 26, 2013

SPORTS ARENA

MEMPHIS TIGERS WRAP UP 2012-13 SEASON WITH TOURNAMENT LOSS

By William Larsha, Jr., Columnist/Sports Reporter

The 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 next year.