MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The team's March Madness journey began Tuesday with their flight to Michigan.
In just a few hours, the Memphis Tigers will find out who they're up against in the first round. The whole team will watch MTSU and St. Mary's battle it out tonight. Whoever wins, the Tigers are ready to dance.
Coach Pastner says the Tigers will prepare for whoever wins, but both he and the players say the real team the Tigers have to worry about right now is Memphis.
"We got to play like a Memphis team with toughness and grit," says Joe Jackson.
When the Tigers do that they're hard to beat. Memphis players' focus this NCAA tournament is going to be on themselves.
"Trying to stay poised like we've always been," says Tarik Black.
"I'm focused trying to get wins," adds Jackson, not dwelling on what's happened in previous tournaments or worried about other teams.
The Tigers are talking about playing the way they know they can. "We've just got to go out there like we can compete with any team," Jackson says.
"We're going up there do some damage," says Tigers fan Todd Taylor. "We're going to beat them all," seconds Rosie O'Kelly.
The Tigers championship journey to Atlanta begins Thursday. Memphis will play either St. Mary's or MTSU.
"Both teams are really good," says Coach Josh Pastner.
No matter who wins, the Tigers say they're ready to do what they do best: "Come out and play your heart out," Jackson says. "We work hard in practice, stay focused and we just focus on our team. I'm not really worried about St. Mary's, MTSU. They've got to play us."