The Memphis Tigers tip off conference play on Thursday by going on the road to play the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in a battle of a pair of teams that both won at least nine non-conference games.
Memphis Tigers (-9, 152) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Both teams enter playing a pretty explosive style with Memphis with Memphis 58th out of 362 Division I teams in total possessions per game while Tulsa ranks 48th in this department.
The aggressive nature of both teams could lead to even more scoring opportunities and points with each being two of the best teams in America at getting to the free throw line with Tulsa 10th in the country in free throws made per possession and Memphis 29th.
In all seven games Memphis played in December, they reached or exceeded 77 points in all of them and now have to face a Tulsa defense that ranks 16th in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis.
The weak non-conference schedule that Tulsa played is laid out in 3-point shooting percentage defense splits with the Golden Hurricane allowing opponents to make just 26.3% of their 3-point attempts in home games compared to 36.8% in games away from home with 18 points fewer allowed per 100 possessions at home than away from home.
While Tulsa gets a boost from the home crowd, the team had three of its home games come against team that entered Wednesday outside of Ken Pomeroy’s top 340 and played host to just one team inside of the top 125 in Missouri State at 111th.
There should be plenty of second chance scoring opportunities as well with Tulsa allowing opponents to get an offensive rebound on 30.2% of their missed shots, which entered Wednesday ranked 265th in the nation while Memphis is 307th, allowing an offensive rebound on 31.6% of opponents misses
With both teams playing at a very uptempo style, coupled with Tulsa’s defensive metrics being inflated by a playing weak competition out of conference, American Conference play will start for these teams with a Thursday shoot-out.
The Play: Memphis vs. Tulsa Over 152