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  March 11, 2012

 University of Memphis Advances to NCAA Championship Tourney

IRVING, Texas - Conference USA tournament champion Memphis received an automatic berth, and Southern Miss earned an at-large berth to the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

2012 NCAA Championship Bracket (PDF) <http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/c-usa/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/2012NCAAbracket.pdf>  Get Acrobat Reader <http://get.adobe.com/reader/>

Complete 2012 NCAA Championship Release (PDF) <http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/c-usa/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/2012NCAAChamp.pdf>  Get Acrobat Reader <http://get.adobe.com/reader/>

The Tigers, who will be making their 24th trip to the NCAA Championship, are the No. 8 seed in the West Region. Southern Miss is making its first NCAA appearance since 1991 and will be the No. 9 seed in the East Region.

Memphis (26-8) will face No. 9 seed Saint Louis (25-7) on Friday, March 16, in Columbus, Ohio. Memphis is making its eighth NCAA Championship appearance in the last 10 seasons. The Tigers also won the C-USA regular season crown with a 13-3 league record.

The Tigers have a 32-23 record in NCAA Tournament play. In its history, Memphis has made three Final Four appearances (1973, 1985, 2008), six Elite Eights and 11 Sweet Sixteens.

It is Memphis' second-consecutive NCAA Championship appearance under third-year head coach Josh Pastner. In last year's NCAA Tournament, the No. 12 seed Tigers dropped a narrow 77-75 decision to No. 5 seed Arizona in the West Region second round. This is Pastner's 15th trip to the NCAA Championship in his 16 seasons in college basketball as a player, staff member, assistant coach and head coach. During his time at Arizona, Pastner was a part of 12-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament (1997-2008), including the 1997 NCAA championship squad. He was an assistant on the Memphis staff when the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2009.

Southern Miss (25-8) will meet No. 9 seed Kansas State in the second round in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Thursday, March 15. This is the third overall appearance for Southern Miss. Southern Miss and Kansas State have met six times before, with each team winning three games.

Head coach Larry Eustachy, the 2012 C-USA Gene Bartow Coach of the Year, also returns to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2001. It is his fourth appearance overall but first with the Golden Eagles. During his five-year career at Iowa State prior to arriving in Hattiesburg, he led the Cyclones to back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2000 and 2001. Eustachy was named the 2000 AP National Coach of the Year and led ISU to the Elite Eight that season. He also led Utah State to the 1998 NCAA Championship.

All NCAA games will be televised on CBS, TBS, Turner and truTV as well as on NCAA March Madness on Demand. Game times will be announced later.




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