... ain’t gonna happen tonight in Little Rock, Arkansas. But that won’t stop lil’ UT-Arlington from showing up as blowout fodder for the No. 1-seeded Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Tournament first-round game. After waiting 49 years for their debut, the Movin’ Mavs are the prototypical “just happy to be here” team.
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T-shirts have been printed (hey, doesn’t UTA’s horsey look like it shares a stable with the Denver Broncos’ horsey?) A pep rally sent off the team’s bus – that’s right, I said its bus -- in style. There’s even a watch party tonight at Fox & Hound on North Collins. But now, the reality.
In 24 years No. 16 seeds are 0-94 against No. 1 seeds, including losses by 24 and 41 points Thursday. According to their seeding, Memphis is the tourney’s second-best team; UTA the third-worst. And the Southland Conference all-time in March Madness is an ugly 4-27.
Add it all up, and it’s Memphis favored by 25. No, wait! Latest line is down to 24½. The Mavs’ Cinderella story could be gaining momentum. Nonetheless, I say Memphis covers. By halftime.