The University of Memphis men's basketball 2012-13 schedule was released last week with a couple of openings left to fill. On Thursday, a couple of those loose ends were tied up with the announcement of the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis bracket.
The NBC Sports Network and AXS TV are televising the Nov. 22-24 Battle 4 Atlantis, which is in its second year of action. Check your local listings for NBC Sports Network availability, and AXS TV is available on Comcast Infinity, DirecTV (channel 306), Dish (channel 131) and AT&T U-Verse (channel 1106).
Memphis is slated to meet VCU in a Nov. 22 quarterfinal matchup at 6 p.m. (CT). The Tigers and Rams are on the same side of the bracket with Duke and Minnesota. The bracket's other side has Louisville playing Northern Iowa and Missouri facing Stanford.
All eight Battle 4 Atlantis participants played in the 2012 postseason. Joining the Tigers in the 2012 NCAA Tournament were Duke, Louisville, Missouri and VCU. Minnesota, Northern Iowa and Stanford played in the 2012 NIT, with the Cardinal defeating the Golden Gophers in the NIT title game.
Before leaving for The Bahamas portion of the event, Memphis hosts Samford at FedExForum Nov. 17 in a Battle 4 Atlantis opening game.
VCU, the Tigers' quarterfinal-round foe, finished 2011-12 with a 29-7 overall record and a 15-3 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) mark. The Rams, playing their first season in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2012-13, won the 2012 CAA Tournament title and earned the league's NCAA Tournament automatic berth. VCU defeated Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament second round, before dropping a narrow 63-61 decision to Indiana in the third round.
In the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the Rams made a memorable run to the Final Four in Houston, Texas. VCU began its Final Four march in the First Four round and won five games over Southern Cal, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas to reach the "Big Dance's" largest stage. The Rams, which posted a 28-12 record, finished 2010-11 ranked No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
The Tigers hold a 4-1 series lead over VCU, with the last encounter coming in the 1991-92 campaign. Memphis, led by Anfernee Hardaway's double-double (16 points-11 boards), defeated the Rams 85-58 on Feb. 25, 1992, at The Pyramid. VCU's lone victory in the series was a 70-69 overtime win in Richmond, Va., in the 1989-90 campaign (Feb. 5, 1990).
The Battle 4 Atlantis is the second-straight year the Tigers travel outside the continental United States to participate in an in-season tournament. Last year, Memphis played in the EA Sports Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.
Memphis' participation in the Battle 4 Atlantis is the fifth different event played outside the contiguous 48 states in the program's history. The Tigers' previous non-mainland tournaments were the Maui Invitational five times (1988, 1992, 1999, 2006, 2011), Puerto Rico Shootout twice (2000, 2009), Pearl Harbor Classic (1985) and Rainbow Classic (1996). Memphis' all-time record in the non-continental U.S. tournaments is 13-13.
Memphis' November trip to The Bahamas is the program's second in the last three seasons. In August of 2010, the Tigers took a five-day tour to The Bahamas and played two exhibitions.
In November of 2011, Harvard defeated UCF for the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis championship.
Another 2012-13 schedule update released Thursday was the Tigers' exhibition game against Christian Brothers is now set for Nov. 7. When the complete schedule was announced last week, the exhibition game date was listed as either Nov. 7 or Nov. 8.
The only game date yet to be determined is the Tigers' Conference USA opener versus East Carolina on either Jan. 8 or 9.
The following is the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis schedule (all times Central):
Thursday, Nov. 22
Missouri vs. Stanford, 12 p.m. (AXS TV)
Duke vs. Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. (AXS TV)
Memphis vs. VCU, 6 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Louisville vs. Northern Iowa, 8:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Friday, Nov. 23
Memphis/VCU loser vs. Duke/Minnesota loser, 12 p.m. (AXS TV)
Missouri/Stanford loser vs. Louisville/Northern Iowa loser, 2:30 p.m. (AXS TV)
Memphis/VCU winner vs. Duke/ Minnesota winner, 6 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Missouri/Stanford winner vs. Louisville/Northern Iowa winner, 8:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, Nov. 24
7th/8th Place Game, 12 p.m. (AXS TV)
5th/6th Place Game, 2:30 p.m. (AXS TV)
3rd/4th Place Game, 6 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Championship Game, 8:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)