The AAC game is only just beginning, but the stakes are already high for Memphis (6-5, 0-1 AAC)) and Wichita State (9-3) as the two prepare to face off at noon ET on Saturday on CBS. The two were among three AAC teams that won NCAA tournament nominations last season, and a win here would go a long way to help both teams get back to the big dance. As CV revival opportunities are scarce in the AAC, matches against quality enemies are particularly critical.
The planned opening of the Wichita State AAC to the ECU was canceled on Wednesday just hours before the tip due to COVID-19 issues for the ECU. That means the Shockers will play their first game since December 22, when they beat Prairie View 102-66. They are hopeful that AAC pre-season top scorer and player of the year Tyson Etienne can pick up where he left off against Prairie View as he scored 20 points on 6 of 11 shots in the game. which was one of his most effective outings on an inconsistent start to the season.
Memphis played without his top three scorers in an 85-84 loss to Tulane on Wednesday night as freshman center Jalen Duren and senior forward Deandre Williams were both out due to COVID-19 protocols and the First-year winger Emoni Bates was sidelined with a finger injury. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said after the loss that he hoped at least two of the three would return against the Shockers. Regardless of who’s on the ground, the Tigers will need to step up their defense after allowing Tulane to shoot 55 percent from the ground.
How to watch Memphis vs. Wichita State live
Dated: Saturday January 1 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Site: Charles Koch Arena – Wichita, Kansas
TV: CBS | Direct: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app
Memphis vs Wichita State prediction, pick
Both teams have had a disappointing start, and home home advantage hasn’t been of much help for Wichita State, who lost at home to Kansas State and North Texas. With the Shockers playing their first game since December 22, expect some rust. If Memphis recovers a few players who missed Tulane’s loss on Wednesday, the Tigers should look more like the team that beat No.19 Alabama by 14 points than the one that lost to Tulane. Prediction: Memphis 81, Wichita 77
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