Memphis Beat

When I saw the rundown for the list of games in the 24 hour college hoops tip-off marathon, one game jumped off the page.

Belmont vs. Memphis.

I don’t usually put a tremendous amount of stock in preseason rankings, but Memphis landed in the top ten and some very well-known AP voters (Seth Davis) put Belmont at No. 20.

Belmont legitimized some voters opinions with a wonderful performance at Cameron Indoor against No. 6 Duke on Friday night that brought our sports department to a standstill. Seriously, we were completely and  totally engrossed in a November basketball game. Duke won by one point after the Bruins nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer. It’s one of those games that I’ll remember for the rest of the season – and maybe longer.

The first half was an offensive explosion – and the first really enjoyable half since the Washington State – Gonzaga game about 12 hours ago. Belmont, down by double digits, kept cutting into the lead. They are a team that absolutely never gives up. Belmont doesn’t have a premier player. They are just an outstanding team that plays well against top shelf talent.

It’s a shame they had to face Wesley Witherspoon on Tuesday. With Witherspoon and Will Barton, the Memphis Tigers raised their game to the next level. Witherspoon finished with 22 points, Barton chipped in 23 and the Tigers beat the Bruins 97-81 in a very entertaining basketball game. Belmont is a legit team that never quits.

A quick note from this game: Early in the 1st half, Memphis player Chris Crawford seemed to suffer a pretty serious injury caused by a temporary sticker on the court. The referees removed the sticker (which I’m sure our good friends at EA Sports aren’t very fond of) in the second half. It might not be the most cost-effective move, but it’s absolutely the right move for player safety.

This concludes the blog portion of the day for the 24 hours Tip Off marathon. I’m not quitting the marathon, just moving it over to Twitter. Follow me @WBALDash.

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