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Open Game Day Thread: (1) Memphis vs (2) Texas

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#1 Memphis Tigers (36-1, 16-0) vs. #2 Texas Longhorns (31-6, 13-3)

Sunday, March 30, 2008 • 1:20 p.m. CT

Reliant Stadium (44,000) • Houston, TX

Television: CBS - Billy Packer and Jim Nantz

Radio: 98.1 FM / 1300 AM (Austin) / Westwood One (Nationally)

So the pot of coffee this morning turned out not to be such a good idea. This game cannot start soon enough.

To win, Texas must...:
1) Win the Point Guard battle. Tim Griffin's got an excellent article on DJ Augustin and Derrick Rose, the two players who will - more so than any others - determine the outcome this afternoon. It seems unlikely either team can win if its point guard is sidelined with foul trouble or has a subpar game at Reliant. Texas needs DJ to be at his absolute best today.

2) Score from the outside with Connor and Damion. Pulling Memphis' bigs from the basket will do wonders for Texas' guards, freeing the lane for back cuts and DJ dribble penetration.

3) Make Memphis shoot. The Tigers are at their best near the rim, punishing defenses with terrific penetration and silly athleticism. They're not, however, the world's best three point shooting team. Taking our chances on Memphis jump shots isn't the worst idea in the world. If they make 'em, they make 'em.

4) Rebound from the zone. Given the tremendously challenging match ups for Texas in man-to-man, I'm expecting a lot of zone defense. More so than ever, Texas' team rebounding in the zone must be sharp. Finding a Tiger body to box out is essential.

Elite Eight. Houston. 40 minutes to San Antonio... This is what we wanted. Time to earn it on the court.

Hook 'em!


--PB--