- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - No. 8 seed Memphis opens NCAA tournament play in the East Region on Friday against No. 9 George Washington, which makes it into the field for the first time in seven seasons.

The Tigers (23-9) finished in a tie for third place in the newly-created American Athletic Conference and have had several impressive victories, including two over Louisville. But coach Josh Pastner’s bunch has been inconsistent and was blown out by UConn 72-53 in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament earlier this week.

George Washington (24-8) finished in a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10 - a powerful conference that sent six teams to the Big Dance. The Colonials have won five of their past seven games, including victories over NCAA tourney teams UMass and St. Joseph’s.