Bubble Nation sighed with relief after Memphis, which wasted a late six-point lead in regulation, staved off Southern Mississippi in double-OT to win the Conference USA title and the auto bid. While Southern Miss was 29th in the RPI entering the game, the Golden Eagles don't appear to have enough in their resume to believe they can get an at-large bid. Memphis' victory, therefore, saves a spot in the field of 68 for a team from another conference.
The Golden Eagles did their best to fulfill their bid thief destiny, though, tying the game at the buzzer in regulation on a driving layup from Neil Watson. Memphis coach Josh Pastner should take some heat for his team having four -- yes, FOUR -- players being beaten down the floor by one outlet pass off a missed free throw when the Tigers were up by two with under five seconds left. Why have two players on the lane at that point? And why was a third player sucked up toward the basket as the shooter was rooted to the line, too?
Watson exploited this gaffe by taking the outlet pass at half-court, driving the lane and making the layupjust before the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Tyus Edney was impressed.