After the most recent Memphis-Tennessee basketball matchup, I believe if the two schools continue the rivalry, it could be best for college basketball.
For starters, it seems like after their second matchup in the three-game series, the national media loves the Memphis-Tennessee basketball rivalry.
Many fans in-state also love the rivalry, and some would like to see it continue. After last year’s debacle with Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, I was against continuing the series even though the Vols won.
This year, the Vols lost, but Hardaway apologized both publicly and privately with Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes over last year.
I think this series could elevate both programs if both can stay near the top consistently in college basketball. The future is bright for both schools, and if we were to get another three years of this matchup, I think it could benefit both teams.
Beating Tennessee is a huge win for Memphis. For Tennessee, a win over Memphis is just another win. Although it may not always be a big win for the Vols, it can prepare them for the difficult SEC schedule.
Obviously, it benefits the national media, and although I’m not necessarily worried about what’s best for them, it offers good exposure for Tennessee and can offer an extra incentive in recruiting.
Last year’s win was a big win for Tennessee and a big loss for Memphis. This year’s win was a big one for Memphis, but not as huge of a loss for Tennessee because their team is increasingly worse.
Next year’s game could decide how important this series is for the future and if it continues. If both sides continue to stay professional through next year’s game, then there is a possibility this series continues.
I don’t think it will continue on a year-to-year basis, but I do think there’s a good chance we get a game every two or three years in Nashville.
Hardaway pretty much put the ball in Barnes’ court when it comes to continuing this series. I think with his professionalism this year; there’s a good chance we get another matchup in the near future after the conclusion of this series.
The future of this matchup is completely unknown at this point, but there’s still some time for the two schools to work something out, but I think after the first two games in this three-game series that it may be best if the teams figure something out for the future.