Tigers fans have high hopes for the season

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:24 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tiger fans had a lot to cheer for Tuesday night to kick off the 101st season of University of Memphis (UofM) basketball.

Every year is exciting, but expectations for this year are pretty high.

It was a respectable crowd that came out for the season opener against Tennessee Tech.

The Associated Press ranked 11 teams ahead of this Memphis squad, but don’t tell these fans that.

“Honestly, I think they’re going to win it all,” said University of Memphis Freshman Emon Sullivan.

Memphis is not only bringing back some players from last year’s NIT championship team, but the Tigers all-star coaching staff also brought in the number-one recruiting class.

“Apparently, we’re ranked so we should be doing something spectacular this year,” said University of Memphis graduate student Vigdis Josdottir.

That’s the beautiful thing about the start of the season. Anything seems possible, especially for many lifelong fans who have faced disappointment before.

“We went to San Antonio in 08 and we just knew we were going to bring it home then. So, we sure would like to do it this year. I don’t want to jinx anything,” said Tigers fan Pat Yancey.

Yancey and her husband have been coming to UofM games since they were students at then called Memphis State.

Many fans say they’re just glad to be back in the building.

Just before Christmas last year, FedExForum officials banned fans from attending in person due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“It’s just definitely different than watching the games on TV versus actually being at the stadium,” said UofM senior Andrea O’Connor.

It’s back to cheering on the Tigers the old-fashioned way, live and in person.

“It’s well overdue. I mean we are so excited to be here,” said Yancey.

Through at least November 19, FedExForum officials will continue to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 Test within the past 72 hours.

However, fans are not required to wear masks anymore although it is highly recommended.

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