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Memphis, Oklahoma look to advance to Maui semifinals

Nov 20, 2006 - 3:11 PM Oklahoma (2-0) at No. 11 Memphis (1-0) 2:30 pm EST

MAUI, Hawaii (Ticker) -- A year ago, Memphis used its success in a preseason tournament to set up a very successful season. It hopes to duplicate that in 2006-07.

The 11th-ranked Tigers will face Oklahoma in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Last season, Memphis made it to the championship game of the NIT season-opening tip off before falling to Duke. However, it was one of the best campaigns in school history as the Tigers secured a one-seed in the NCAA tournament and made it to the regional finals.

Ironically, in last year's Elite Eight, Memphis lost to UCLA, which also is in the Maui bracket.

In their opener, the Tigers posted an easy 111-69 victory over Jackson State. Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 21 points and Jeremy Hunt added 16 for Memphis.

However, Tigers coach John Calipari was not happy with parts of his team's game. Memphis allowed 11 offensive rebounds and freshman point guard Willie Kemp went 2-of-13 from the field in his first game as a replacement for Darius Washington, who left early for the NBA draft.

Sooners senior guard Michael Neal, who was suspended for the first two games for breaking NCAA rules for playing in a summer basketball league, will play in his first contest Monday. Oklahoma played well without Neal, including a 74-48 victory over Liberty on Thursday.

Memphis is 4-0 all time vs. the Sooners. The winner will face either Georgia Tech or Purdue in the semifinals on Tuesday.

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