No. 5: These Are The 1 Seeds
Our Bold Prediction No. 5 is a look at Memphis, the third No. 1 seed in our Preseason bracket.
In a year when legendary programs like UCLA and North Carolina are Final Four favorites, could Memphis (Memphis!?) win the national title? Believe it folks – the Tigers aren’t just for real, they might be Preseason No. 1 and will likely spend the most days at No. 1 of any team this season. We all know about their conference schedule – the Tigers have won 35 of their last 36 games in the putrid C-USA – but they showed last year in advancing to the Elite Eight that they have as much if not more talent than any team in the country. They also relish the fact that no one shows them any love during the regular season, and they use that us-against-the-world mentality to their advantage. On paper, John Calipari’s crew has no holes. Chris Douglas-Roberts can take the ball to the basket as good as anyone in the country, and he and Joey Dorsey (a beast underneath) make for an unstoppable inside-outside combo. Memphis also has Robert Dozier to crash the boards and Antonio Anderson to defend the opponent’s best shooter out on the perimeter. Memphis’ only question mark was at the point guard spot – until Calipari landed All-everything prep star Derrick Rose. Rose is a Nash-like pass-first, shoot-only-when-necessary floor general that fits this team perfectly. He certainly has plenty of options to get the ball to, and all signs point to Rose finding some highlight reel ways to do just that. Still not convinced the Tigers are for real? Critics won’t be able to pick on Memphis’ schedule this year, either. Yes, C-USA is garbage, but the Tigers might have the hardest OOC schedule of any team in the nation, with games against Georgetown, Arizona, Tennessee, and Gonzaga (all at home, but still). They also play USC in the Jimmy V Classic and potentially Kentucky in the 2K College Hoops Classic. Can you say No. 1 in the RPI? Can you say San Antonio? We’ll see. For now, we’re very confident in saying this: Memphis is a 1 seed.