The 9-3 Memphis Tigers men's basketball team has one more non-conference game before they step into Conference-USA play.
It's a big one on Friday, Jan. 4, in Knoxville against their cross-state rivals the Volunteers (8-3) of the University of Tennessee.
The Vols will put a 4-game winning streak on the line Friday, while Memphis has won 7 of its last eight. Tennessee leads the series 14-10.
"I did play 'Rocky Top' for at least 45 minutes each day (during practice), just blasting it," said Tigers head coach Josh Pastner. "It's just that I want the guys to understand we have been in the confines of the FedExForum, and they have to understand this is a totally different environment."
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"We have to get used to it," added Adonis Thomas, forward. "Coach said they will play ('Rocky Top') nonstop. I believe him. When I was being recruited at the football games, they were playing 'Rocky Top' over and over. It's something that we have to get used to."
It's the last time the two schools will play each other for the unforeseeable future. There are no plans to renew the series.
"Here's what we are doing," Pastner said. "As long as am empowered to make decisions along with (Athletic Director) Tom Bowen and we see eye to eye, this is just like the Xavier series. When we're done with them, we move on. Tennessee series? Move on.
"So, it's nothing against Tennessee," Pastner added. "There's not shot. It's nothing. It's just our fan base wants to play Louisville every single year."
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin says he would prefer to keep playing Memphis.
Friday's game in Knoxville is at 7 p.m. EST at Thompson-Boling Arena.
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