NCAA Tournament Predictions: West Region: 8. Memphis vs. 9. Saint Louis

By: Kels Dayton

 8 Memphis Tigers (26-8, 13-3 Conference USA)-Memphis began the year highly-ranked, but stammered to a 6-5 start and fell out of the national consciousness. They’ve got the talent to get back there, with guards Will Barton and Joe Jackson.

Guard Joe Jackson (Lance Murphey/AP)

Barton averages 18 points and 8 rebounds per game, and has been outstanding for the Tigers down the stretch.

Memphis has won 14 of 16 games, and took a stick of dynamite to the rest of the Conference USA tournament field, blowing opponents out by an average of 18.3 points     per game.

Barton and Jackson were part of a highly-touted recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2009. They haven’t lived up to that bill, because of chemistry and on-court issues, but this team is talented enough to make a deep NCAA run.


5th Field Goal Percentage (.494)

9th Field Goal Percentage Against (.384)

44th Assists per game (14.7)

Team stats courtesy


 Saint Louis Billikens (25-7, 12-4 Atlantic 10)- Under head coach Rick Majerus, the Billikens have become one of the best defensive teams in the nation. Saint Louis is giving up just 57.5 points per game, and are allowing opponents to shoot just 41.1 percent from the field.

The big man Majerus has led Saint louis to 25 wins this season. (AP Photo)

The Billikens have won 10 of 12 going into the tournament, and are led by 6-6 senior forward Brian Conklin, who averages 13.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Saint Louis doesn’t figure to have the firepower to knock out Michigan State, but the matchup with Memphis is interesting because of the difference in styles the two teams play with. Majerus is one of college basketball’s better coaches, having led Utah to the  national championship game in 1998, so you know that he will have his team ready to play.


8th Points Allowed per game (57.5)

40th Field Goal Percentage Against (.411)

12th Defensive Points Per Possession (1.03)


PREDICTION: Saint Louis 

Team stats courtesy

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