Tennessee is poised to take over the Number-1 ranking in men's Division 1 basketball for the first time in school history.
The Vols' men's team, overshadowed by the Lady Vols in basketball and its perennially highly ranked football team, handed top-ranked Memphis its first loss of the season, 66-62. That means almost certainly Tennessee will be ranked Number-1 when the rankings are released Sunday.
Tyler Smith hit a tough turnaround jumper in the lane with 26.5 seconds left to give the Vols the lead. J.P. Prince then hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds left and Chris Lofton added two more free throws with 2.9 seconds left to clinch it. Smith finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tennessee.
The loss ends the dream of Memphis for an undefeated season. The Tigers are 26-and-1. They were trying to become the first team since Indiana in 1976 to go undefeated in men's Division 1 basketball. Tennessee is 25-and-2.
Poor free throw shooting doomed Memphis. The Tigers were just 8-of-17 from the free throw line. Derrick Rose led all scorers with 23 for Memphis. This ends a 47-game home winning streak for Memphis.
The game attracted a star-studded crowd including Priscilla Presley and Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning, a Tennessee alumnus.
No. 1 no more ... And the perfect season is gone, too.
Tyler Smith hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 26.5 seconds left and No. 2 Tennessee knocked off the nation's last unbeaten team, beating top-ranked Memphis 66-62 Saturday night.
Tennessee (25-2) won on a night when star guard Chris Lofton scored only 7 points, beating the Tigers with a dominating performance on the boards. Lofton did finish it off, though, hitting a couple of free throws with 4.5 seconds to go after Memphis intentionally missed a free throw.
Memphis (26-1) lost at home for the first time since Jan. 2, 2006, ending the nation's longest home winning streak at 47 games.
High Scorers: Tennessee - Tyler Smith 16
Memphis - Derrick Rose 23
High Rebounders: Tennessee - JaJuan Smith 10
Memphis - Joey Dorsey 6
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports
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