Feb. 19, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - For just the fifth time in the 97-year history of Tulane men's basketball, the Green Wave will host the top-ranked team in the country when No. 1 Memphis visits a nearly sold-out Fogelman Arena this Wednesday for a nationally televised contest on College Sports Television. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.
A limited number of tickets remain on sale for the game. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling (504) 861-WAVE or in person by visiting the ticket office inside the James W. Wilson Center located on Ben Weiner Drive.
The Tulane-Memphis game, which is sponsored by Capital One, will feature a block party from 5-6:45 p.m. outside of Fogelman Arena with live music, food and $1 beer and hot dogs. Doors will open to the Arena at 5:30 p.m. and the first 2,500 fans will receive a free Tulane green t-shirt.
Third-year head coach Dave Dickerson is urging all Tulane students and fans to "Wear Green" in an effort to "Green Out" Fogelman Arena.
"I would like to ask all our students and fans to wear green and `Green Out' Fogelman Arena for this nationally televised game against the nation's top-ranked team," Dickerson said. "I encourage everyone to come early and enjoy the pre-game festivities at the block party, and then cheer on our team for 40 minutes. Let's reintroduce Fogelman Arena as one of the toughest places to play in the country."
Tulane (15-9, 5-5 C-USA) is 12-6 in its last 18 games, but is coming off three straight losses to Marshall (68-54), Houston (66-56) and a last second loss at UTEP (66-64). Prior to its three consecutive losses, the Wave put together a season-best five game win streak.
The Green Wave is 9-3 overall at home this season, but just 2-2 in Conference USA games. In 11 contests at Fogelman Arena this season, Tulane is averaging 69.8 points per contest, while limiting its opponents to 61.3 points per outing. TU is also shooting nearly 45.9 percent on its home floor compared to just 37.1 percent by its visitors.
For the year, Tulane is averaging 67.3 points and 34.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 45 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from behind the three-point line and 71.7 percent from the free-throw line.
David Gomez and Kevin Sims lead the Green Wave is scoring with 14.5 and 12 points per game, respectively. Gomez is also the team's top rebounder with 6.0 boards per game, respectively, while Sims leads the squad in assists and steals with 4.2 and 1.5 per contest, respectively.
Memphis (25-0, 11-0 C-USA) is the only remaining undefeated team in the nation this season and also boasts the longest win streak in the country. The Tigers have held the top spot in the national polls for the last five straight weeks.
UM is a perfect 7-0 overall on the road this season, including 5-0 in Conference USA play, and is coming off a last second, one-point win at UAB (79-78) in its last road contest. Memphis is averaging 80.2 and 42.6 rebounds per game and is shooting 46.2 percent from the field, including 34 percent from behind the arc, and 58.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Chris Douglas-Roberts leads three Tigers in double figure scoring with 17.5 points per outings. Derrick Rose is second with 13.6 points and leads the team in assists (106), while Robert Dozier is hitting on 10 points per contest. Joey Dorsey leads the club in rebounds with 10.7 points per game.
Tulane has played the No. 1 team in the nation a total of nine times in its basketball history, and is 0-9 all-time in those contests. Eight of the nine games came against Kentucky when the Green Wave was a member of the Southeastern Conference (1932-66), while the remaining contest was against Cincinnati, then a member of Conference USA, in 2000. TU has hosted the top team in the land at Fogelman Arena a total of four times (Kentucky- 1951, 1952, 1955, 1959) while the contest against Cincinnati was played at New Orleans Arena.
Wednesday's game marks the 46th all-time meeting between Tulane and Memphis, and the Tigers lead the series, 36-9. The highest ranked team Tulane has ever upset was No. 2 Cincinnati (78-75) at the Louisiana Superdome in 1977. The Wave's last victory over a Top-25 team was over No. 25 North Carolina State (73-62) at New Orleans Arena in 1999.
The last time Tulane came up with a victory over Memphis was on Feb. 9, 2000, at Fogelman Arena. In that game, Waitari Marsh rebounded a missed free throw and drove for a short jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining in Tulane's 64-63 victory. The Tigers took a 63-62 lead on a slam dunk by Shannon Foreman with 2:03 remaining. Memphis' Shamel Jones then missed a free throw in the closing seconds and Marsh rebounded the missed shot to score the winning field goal.
One of the greatest upsets in school history came on Jan. 11, 1990, at Fogelman Arena. After discontinuing men's basketball for four years, the Green Wave returned in 1989-90 with a team of freshmen and transfers. Under the direction of first-year coach Perry Clark, the 2-8 Wave upset No. 20 Memphis, 81-80, in the Metro Conference opener and set off bedlam in Fogelman Arena. Tulane added just one more win that season and concluded the year with a 4-24 overall record.
Tulane remains home this Saturday for an evening game against Southern Miss at 6 p.m. The Wave will look to avenge a 71-54 loss to the Golden Eagles earlier this season in Hattiesburg, Miss. TU has won the last three straight meetings at Fogelman Arena vs. Southern Miss.