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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
 
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
 
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
3rd
UCF 27
TEMPL 14
 
2nd
WASU 13
ARZ 31
 
1st
CLEM 0
SYR 0
 
1st
LAMON 3
TXST 0
 
1st
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 14
 
1st
COLST 3
WYO 0
 
1st
LSU 0
MISS 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
1st
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
1st
NYI 1
DAL 1
 
1st
PHI 0
DET 0
 
1st
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
1st
MON 0
NYR 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14