January 2, 2013
Vols will look to stay on course vs. Tigers
The Tennessee-Memphis basketball series, a natural, in-state rivalry that's provided fans of both schools with some fond memories, is coming to an end on Friday night (again) thanks primarily to Tigers' head coach Josh Pastner's lack of interest in continuing the annual match-up.
After years of not playing each other regularly the Vols and Tigers hooked began hooking up for an annual game in 1988 as part of an agreement that ran through 2001.
The series then went on a hiatus for three years before being resumed as part of an eight year deal in 2005. That deal runs out on Friday, and unless the Vols run up against the Tigers in tournament play somewhere, it will be the last meeting for the foreseeable future.
Cuonzo Martin, as well as athletic director Dave Hart, have expressed interest in continuing the annual meeting, but that interest is currently a one-sided affair.
"If they aren't going to do it then we have to move forward and schedule games we need to schedule," Martin said when discussing the demise of the series on New Years Day. "You've heard Josh say why he doesn't want to play and that's fine, I can respect that. For us, we'd like to continue, but if not, we have to move forward."
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