After the Miami Heat it was the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After Oklahoma City it was the undefeated New York Knicks.
Then it was the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Grizzlies – sporting an 8-1 record – were on top of the world. Well, not literally. Those wins put the team on top of the NBA list, leading the league with the best record overall.
Rivalry games frequently turn into hard-fought battles in which heavily favored teams can often be brought down to size by lesser teams because of the hype leading to the match ups.
If the annual "Battle for the Bones" game (Nov. 17) pitting the University of Memphis against rival UAB was supposed to be close, someone forgot to tell coach Justin Fuente and his Tigers. Memphis traveled to Birmingham, Ala., and absolutely manhandled the Blazers (46-9). It was 21 to 0 at the end of the first quarter and the Tigers didn't look back.
In recent years, the University of Memphis basketball team has had a problem with playing down to the competition. That problem manifested in last week's exhibition when the Tigers came out slow in the first half against Christian Brothers University and actually trailed at halftime.
Memphis won by double digits, but coach Josh Pastner wasn't happy with the overall effort. He wants to see his team play hard all 40 minutes.
The Miami Heat game plan coming into the sold-out FedExForum (Nov. 11) was to keep Memphis from feeding the ball inside to big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
Sure. That sounds pretty good, except that the plan backfired as the Grizzlies darted past the world champs 104 to 86. And it was the second unit that led the charge.
Quick thinking, dominant defense, collective ball handling and back-to-back scoring were all plentiful as the University of Memphis Women's Basketball team started its regular season with an opening-round route of Grambling State University (Nov. 9) at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Out-rebounding Grambling 49-31, the Tigers played fast and furious in bringing home a 92-42 victory.
The University of Memphis football Tigers only had three games left on their schedule –Tulane, UAB and Southern Miss – heading into last weekend and those remaining opponents only had four total wins between them.
With that knowledge, it looked as if Memphis had a good chance to win some games over the last quarter of the season and take some momentum into the off-season.
Getting the home stretch started right, Memphis recorded a "W" (Nov. 10) over the Tulane Green Wave. The Tigers won 37-23 with their most dominant performance of the year.