MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Tigers are NCAA Tournament bound! The team touched down in Michigan late Tuesday afternoon. Memphis will find out Tuesday night who they play in the first round Thursday, and they're ready for whatever March Madness throws their way.
"I like where we're at mentally," said Tigers Head Coach Josh Pastner. "I think the guys are going to be ready to go and I'm excited for Thursday."
Tiger Joe Jackson added, "We can't afford to come out sluggish or not making shots. We've got to come out playing your heart out."
At tournament time it's all on the line, and fans can't wait to watch. Rosie O'Kelly came out to Wilson Air to send the team off in style Tuesday.
"We'll be here to meet them when they come home. Hopefully as champions? As champions - not hopefully, they will be champions!"
After losing in the first round the last two years, every Memphis fan from Coach Pastner on down is ready to win this year.
"We know we can go; we had number one seed down by 17, that proves it right there. We've just got to be able to pull the game out," said Jackson.
The team says they'll draw from their previous NCAA experiences.
"Not a lot of teams have seen three NCAA tournaments in a row," said Tiger Tarik Black. "A team with lot of talent may not beat a team with a lot of experience. They know what it takes and like I say, we're going to be more poised this year."
Jackson stated, "It doesn't matter who scores all the points or who had the best game, we just have to win every game. We've got six more games in all, and I'm looking forward to being there April 9th."
So are fans. As far as having fun this tournament, Coach Pastner says, "We'll have a lot of fun if we win! If you don't win, no fun. Win equals fun."
The Tigers first game is this Thursday afternoon, tip off is set for 1:45 p.m.