The Memphis Tigers are going to win the 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament. That’s right, the same Memphis Tigers that got beaten by South Florida and East Carolina, two of the worst teams in the country this year, are not only going to the big dance, but will in fact, win it all. You might think that I’ve lost my mind or am just speaking as a crazed fan, but I know exactly what I’m saying and believe it to wholeheartedly be the truth. It would have been less of a stretch, albeit still very unlikely, had I said it when they were on their four game winning streak at the end of the season, but no, it was the loss to South Florida, the utter beat down on our home court that got set the wheels in motion for the Tigers to win the national championship. How can I be so confident? Because, it’s just too perfect.
Just think about it for a second. Wouldn’t this make the perfect movie? At the end of last year’s disappointing season, the several of the best players on the team transferred to other schools, leaving the Memphis roster pretty bare without much hope for this year. Over the course of the offseason, the coach eventually filled in his roster with players, the majority of whom, he recruited from Junior Colleges. So here you have a rag-tag group of basketball players, the majority of whom weren’t good enough to play division one basketball a couple of years ago, thrust onto the big stage with the high expectations of Memphis basketball fans on their shoulders.
Nobody believed in these kids, nobody but a man named Tubby Smith, a former national championship winning coach who has taken five different teams to the NCAA tournament. The championship he won was twenty years ago and while the narrative is overplayed and outdated, it was still something to hold onto, a little glimmer of hope when the hire was made two years ago, that maybe Tubby would come in and be the great winning coach that he once was, but last year came and went, and that little spark of hope was extinguished. During the later part of this season, talks have picked up about wanting former Memphis Tiger and NBA great, Penny Hardaway to replace Tubby, but through it all, the University has stood by their coach unwavering in their support, until after the bad loss to South Florida at home.
The president of the University, who had been steadfast in his support of the current basketball coach, released a statement regarding Tubby’s future, saying they would reevaluate the situation at the end of the season, which by all indications, means there’s likely to be a coaching change, otherwise he could have just put a stop to that talk like they did all year by voicing support for Tubby, except now it seems like they don’t. After that the Penny rumors were reignited and the way everyone in the media is talking, it’s more likely than not that Penny will be the next head coach at the University of Memphis, so Tubby is as good as gone. Knowing that his tenure as the head basketball coach of the Tigers is coming to a close, then what does he have to play for? His honor of course, which perfectly fits the cliché mold that is so common in sports movies.
The Tigers are going to rally around their coach and play their hearts out and Tubby is going to be moved into getting his old fire back and become once again the great coach that he once was. Throw in the fact that the best player on the team got hurt at the very end of the season, and you have the perfect story for a movie. It’s going to be beautiful and sappy and inspiring and the movie is going to be a huge success, and since I’m the first one to voice the idea and say that a 2018 championship for Memphis is happening, then it’s only fair that I get to write and direct the movie, or at the very least get to play one of the white kids at the end of the bench that never gets to play but is very enthusiastic in support of his team. It’s going to be the Hoosiers of this generation, only it’s not going to be super boring. You heard it here first. Tubby’s Tigers, coming to a theater near you