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Tulane vs Memphis: College Basketball Preview and Prediction

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It’s payback time for the Memphis Tigers. After a long layoff, they return home to FedEx Forum to take on the Tulane Green Wave. The game is a rematch from the 96-89 beatdown in New Orleans on New Year’s Day. Tulane is entering the game with a record of 14-7, while Memphis is 17-5. The Tigers have a 7-2 record in the conference, which places them in third place, while Green Wave stand right behind them at 7-3. Senior guard Jaylen Forbes leads Tulane, averaging 19.1 points per game, and his teammate Jalen Cook is 18.5. On the other hand, the Tigers are paced by senior point guard Kendric Davis, the AAC’s leading scorer with 21.5.

The game between the two programs is a pivotal matchup in the conference. For the Green Wave, the game against Memphis is crucial for building a solid resume for entry into the NCAA tournament. If you look at any brackets online, Tulane is not listed. To qualify, they will need a solid finish for the season and win the AAC tournament, which takes place in Fort Worth, Texas.

On the other hand, the Tigers are on a roll. Since falling short in the double-overtime thriller against UCF, Memphis has compiled a record of 5-0 against AAC competition. They remain on track to qualify for the NCAA tournament. If the Tigers continue to stack wins, quad-one victories will not play a part in their tournament advancement. Without further delay, here are a few things to watch for in Saturday’s crucial game.

A Battle of the AAC’s Top Scoring Teams

Memphis and Tulane know how to get to the basket and score. Saturday’s game features two of the top-scoring teams in the AAC this season. The Green Wave and the Tigers are ranked side by side regarding points per game in the conference. Memphis as a team is averaging 79.8 PPG, while Tulane leads the conference with 81.3. The game also features three of the top scorers in the conference. Davis is the league’s top scorer, followed by the Green Wave’s Forbes and Cook. Cook accounted for 21 points in the first matchup, while his teammates Sion James, Kevin Cross, and R.J. McGee chipped in for a combined 56 points. Those contributions elevated Tulane over Memphis in the January 1 matchup.

The Return of Malcolm Dandridge

A player not present in the first meeting between Memphis and Tulane is big man Malcolm Dandridge. The Memphis native has not been on the court since going down with an ankle injury that occurred in the 91-88 loss against Alabama in December. His presence on the court has been greatly missed. Even though the Tigers have adjusted to not having him in the lineup, his presence in games brings an element that can put them over the top from now on. With “Malco” back in the fold, the Tigers have a bonafide rim protector that can get buckets.

Keys to Victory

The key to a victory for Memphis will be their ability to control the game’s tempo. If they can slow things down and play at their pace, they should be able to limit the number of possessions for Tulane and grind out a win. What they cannot do is allow the Green Wave to get to the free-throw line quickly. In the first matchup, Memphis fouled Tulane 25 times. That’s why players like DeAndre Williams must stay out of foul trouble. They struggle in the games when they lack a second scoring option, such as Williams.


Memphis knows what they did wrong in the first matchup against Tulane. Expect those corrections to be on this display in Saturday’s game. The Tigers are currently undefeated at home, dating back to last January when head coach Penny Hardaway went on a postgame tirade. I don’t expect the streak to end this Saturday against Tulane. The Tigers extend their winning streak to six.

Memphis 94, Tulane 87


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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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