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The Memphis Tigers will face the Boise State Broncos in a nine-seed-eight-seed March Madness matchup. These two teams have faced each other once before. They went up against each other in the First Round of last year’s NIT Tournament, and Memphis squeaked out a 59-56 victory.
The Memphis Tigers were expected to have a great season and be one of the better teams from the Group of Five Conferences.
Their season started well, and they won their first five non-conference games. They followed that up with four losses, all against unranked opponents. Even though Memphis is unranked, they finished the year strong and won their last four regular-season games.
The Tigers have four players (Jalen Duren, DeAndre Williams, Emoni Bates, and Lester Quinones) scoring ten points or more. Bates has missed a lot of the season with an injury and will miss this game, but the other three players are healthy. Overall, the Tigers shoot well and hit 47.1% of their shots.
They will need to continue hitting their shots against this suffocating Boise State defense.
The Boise State Broncos are the best team in a pretty strong Mountain West Conference. They won the conference regular-season title and the conference tournament to finish their season. Interestingly, the Broncos struggled in non-conference play but heated up as they went into conference play.
They have two solid scorers in Abu Kigab and Marcus Shaver Jr. but struggle to score as a team. Kigab averages 14.7 points and Shaver Jr. averages 13.6 points, but no other player averages above 11 per game.
Even though the Broncos score under 70 points per game, they have a top-15 defense that only gives up 60.8 points per game.
The Broncos are the underdogs, but they have a healthier roster and a better defense. This game will come down to the wire, but Boise State will be going on to the Round of 32.
Boise State beats Memphis 68-66. Boise State covers Over 133.5 points.
|Memphis Tigers||Head-to-Head||Boise State Broncos|
|Penny Hardaway||Head Coach||Leon Rice|
|21-10 (13-5, 3rd in AAC)||Standing||27-7(15-3, 1st in Mountain West)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Jalen Duren (12.2)||PPG||Abu Kigab (14.7)|
|Jalen Duren (8.1)||RPG||Mladen Armus (7.9)|
|Alex Lomax (4.0)||APG||Emmanuel Akot (2.9)|
|Alex Lomax (1.8)||SPG||Abu Kigab (1.3)|
|Jalen Duren (2.2)||BPG||Mladen Armus (0.9)|
|Jalen Duren (.626)||FG%||Abu Kigab (.506)|
|Jayden Hardaway (.462)||3P%||Tyson Degenhart (.417)|
The Memphis Tigers are the favorites and have more stars, but they lack defensive discipline. They need to play strong team defense and protect the ball.
The Tigers give up 68.4 points per game. There are worse defenses, but there are also better ones. The Tigers need to play defense as a team and communicate with each other a lot. Luckily, they are facing a Boise State squad that only scores 68.7 points per game,
The Tigers play a lot of sloppy basketball. They have five players turning the ball over more than twice a game and average 16.4 turnovers as a team. They need to be more focused and make less mistakes. If they give the ball up this much against Boise State, they might as well hand them the game.
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The Boise State Broncos are just barely the underdog, but they can win this game if they play the right way. They need to hit free throws and protect the rim.
Boise State struggles to make free throws. They only hit 64.9% of their free-throw attempts. That is simply not going to work in March Madness. They need to focus and hit their free throws. If they do not, Memphis may run away with it.
Boise State has a lot forwards but does not get many blocks. Their leading blocker, Mladen Armus, only averages 0.9 blocks per game. They need to be aggressive at the rim and deny as many shots as possible.
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This was not a difficult choice. Jalen Duren has become the star for this Memphis team and will need to play like one in this game.
Duren averages 12.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. The freshman is a traditional center that scores most of his points near the hoop and can throw it down.
He needs to come up big on both sides of the floor against Boise State. He is their x-factor and critical to their success.
Abu Kigab does a little bit of everything for the Broncos. The 6’7” Canadian forward averages 14.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals.
Kigab plays a big role on both sides of the floor. He does not need to change anything this game. He just needs to play the game he has been playing all season long.
The Tigers have to force him to take outside shots. He does shoot from deep, but much less efficiently.
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|Memphis Tigers vs Boise State Broncos Information|
|What||Memphis Tigers vs Boise State Broncos|
|Where||Moda Center, Portland, Oregon|
|When||Thursday, March 17, 1:45 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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