ESPN College GameDay big deal to Memphis

ESPN College GameDay will set up shop in Memphis Saturday for the Tigers rematch with No. 11 Louisville.

ESPN College GameDay will set up shop in Memphis Saturday for the Tigers rematch with No. 11 Louisville.

And it's a big deal to both Tiger's coach John Calipari and Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson. Hosted by Chris Fowler, along with expert guests Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps, GameDay provides great exposure for the host school.

"To include us is an honor," said Tigers coach John Calipari. "It's like with that commercial - everybody's fighting for the plaque. That's what this means. Everybody wants it."

Dick Vitale, who will provide color commentary for tonight's game, will also join the GameDay crew for at least one segment during its Saturday morning broadcast, which begins at 11 a.m. EST outside Memphis' FedExForum.

"We're pulling out all the stops on this baby," Tigers athletic director R.C. Johnson told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. "My thing is, you couldn't buy this. We view this as a golden opportunity."

"It'll be good, not only for our basketball program, but our university, our city," Johnson added. "And FedEx has got to feel pretty good about it, too."

The Cardinals have played well on the road all season and Louisville coach Rick Pitino doesn't think the hype surrounding ESPN's GameDay will have much effect on the game's outcome.

"It's great for college basketball, it's great for Memphis, it's great for the game and for their crowd," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "But once the ball is thrown up it will be no different than going on the road and playing at Kentucky or Florida."

This will also mark the second time in the past few months Louisville has participated in a game with the GameDay crew present. The other, a 41-38 classic against Miami in the Orange Bowl, the Cardinals only loss during an 11-1 season.


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