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Memphis (24-9) vs. Virginia (29-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 23, 8:40 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,772) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: TNT. NCAA Record: Memphis 34-25, Virginia 23-17. Series Record: First meeting.

GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers hope to take the next step in their NCAA Tournament run when they battle the eighth-seeded Memphis Tigers at PNC Arena on Sunday night.

Virginia trailed 35-30 at halftime against 16th-seed Coastal Carolina on Friday, but dominated over the final 20 minutes to avoid the upset with a 70-59 victory. The victory puts Virginia (29-6) one win away from matching a school record for wins in a season. The only other time the Cavaliers won 30 games was during the 1981-82 campaign, when they were upset as a No. 1 seed by UAB in the Sweet 16.

Memphis is hoping to be the team pulling off an upset on Sunday, after holding off George Washington (71-66) on Friday to advance. Unfortunately, they have not won consecutive games since defeating Rutgers and Temple in back-to-back contests on Feb. 20 and Feb. 22.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these programs, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.

Memphis never trailed against George Washington, but it had its lead trimmed to 67-66 with 25 seconds to play on a layup by the Colonials' Joe McDonald. The Tigers wre able to fend off the rally, however, with Michael Dixon Jr. going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, while the team played solid defense to force an errant 3-point attempt from Maurice Creek in the final seconds.

Dixon Jr. (12 ppg) is normally a secondary scorer for the Tigers, making his presence felt as a reserve. He still came off the bench on Friday, but he was the key offensive performer in the contest, netting a team-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Joe Jackson (14.3 ppg, 4.6 apg) is the usually go-to option, leading the team in both scoring and assists. Jackson was still leaned on heavily against GW, tallying 15 points on 6-of-12 from the floor, while contributing six assists and five rebounds as well. Shaq Goodwin (11.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field to finish with eight points, while Chris Crawford (8.9 ppg) struggled to find his shot, netting just 3- of-10 from beyond the arc.

It was a tale of two halves for the Cavaliers on Friday. After managing only eight field goals in the opening stanza, Virginia nearly matched that total in 3-pointers alone in the second when it nailed 65 percent from the floor, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Anthony Gill came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

The Cavaliers looked more like themselves defensively in the second frame against Coastal Carolina, holding the Chanticleers to 32 percent shooting in the period. Virginia normally dominates at the defensive end, as it leads the nation in scoring defense (55.4 ppg), while ranking among the top-15 in assists allowed (9.8 apg) and opponent field goal percentage (.386). They can't afford to fall behind like they did on Friday going forward, however, with their offensive pace (66.1 ppg) not lending itself to an ability to overcome large deficits. Malcolm Brogdon (12.7 ppg) and Joe Harris (11.7 ppg) are the only double-digit scorers on the roster. The duo combined for 25 points on just 5-of-16 shooting against Coastal Carolina.

Virginia has a real challenge against Memphis, a team that is among the nation's best in scoring (77.4 ppg), assists (17.4 apg) and field goal percentage (.479). If the Cavaliers fall behind early, they may struggle to recover. However, they should be able to take control from the beginning and pick up what will likely be a hard-fought win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 67, Memphis 63

03/23 10:33:05 ET

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Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
4th
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
4th
NCSU 35
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
5th
BAL 4
BOS 2
 
4th
PIT 0
MIL 0
 
5th
TAM 2
CWS 0
 
2nd
MIN 0
CLE 0
 
5th
ATL 0
NYM 3
 
4th
HOU 7
SEA 1
 
5th
MIA 2
WAS 0
 
5th
STL 5
CIN 1
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
 
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
 
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
3:30pm Today
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
 
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
 
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
 
4th
ILL 25
TXST 28
 
3rd
WASH 21
GASTATE 14
 
2nd
SMISS 14
APPST 7
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL 6
BST 0
2nd
OHIO 17
IDAHO 7
 
2nd
CIN 17
UMO 14
 
2nd
MEM 19
MTST 7
 
2nd
LSU 3
MSST 17
 
2nd
ARK 28
NILL 7
 
2nd
ARKST 0
UTST 7
 
2nd
SALABAMA 0
GASO 14
 
2nd
WVU 7
OKLA 3
 
2nd
VANDY 14
SCAR 3
 
1st
NEB 7
MIAMI 7
 
1st
NMST 0
NMU 0
 
1st
HOU 7
UNLV 7
 
1st
FSU 0
CLEM 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
4th
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
4th
NCSU 35
PRES 0