The Tigers have all but disappeared from the national spotlight the past two seasons. Gone are the days of blowing through C-USA play or taking on the likes power six "majors". Memphis' signature wins have been a pair of "Ws" over Tennessee and a two-point tight-one over Southern Miss. Despite this, Memphis is 18-7 overall with a RPI of 19 and the 13th ranked strength of schedule; by winning 12 of their last 14 games (and those two losses come by a combined four points), the Tigers have put themselves back into the Tournament field; they have done so without high school All-American forward Adonis Thomas for the past nine games, guard Charles Carmouche has missed nearly the entire season with an injury and center Tarik Black has regressed after a standout freshman year.
When Thomas returns to the lineup and Black asserts himself inside, this Memphis team is as talented as a top ten team. Will Barton is one of the best scorers in the country and when he is under control, point guard Joe Jackson is difficult to slow down. But this team has plenty of "if"s and "but"s. The talent is there, but so are some high levels of inconsistency, which means Memphis could either be Sweet 16 bound or headed home on an early flight after the first Tournament game.