UT-Memphis hoops series is on again

Tennessee and Memphis are set to resume their basketball series in the 2005-06 season as part of an agreement reached between the two universities. The schools also have decided to postpone a 2004 football game scheduled for Memphis to the 2013 season.

"We have been having ongoing discussions with the University of Memphis for several months, working through some schedule conflicts," Athletics Director Mike Hamilton said. "We have agreed to postpone the 2004 football game and begin an eight-year, home-and-home basketball series with the Tigers."

Hamilton indicated a replacement opponent for the 2004 football schedule has not been finalized.

The Vols and Tigers have met 16 times on the hardcourt in a tightly contested series, with UT holding a 10-6 advantage. The most recent contest was a 71-69 Memphis home victory on Dec. 15, 2001, that snapped a five-game Tennessee winning streak against the Tigers. The last eight basketball games between the two schools having been decided by an average of fewer than five points per game.

"There certainly has been a lot of interest in athletics competition between the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis," Hamilton said. "Our administration feels that the continuation of this competition is to the benefit of both universities."

Tennessee owns an 18-1 series lead in football against their West Tennessee rivals. The Vols won the most recent meeting, 49-28 two years ago in Knoxville, and were slated for a Nov. 13, 2004, visit to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. That game has been postponed to the 2013 season.

Four other grid matchups will take place as scheduled, with meetings set for 2005 and 2009 in Knoxville and 2006 and 2010 in Memphis.

Basketball games will rotate between the schools on a yearly basis, with Memphis hosting the renewal in the 2005-06 season and UT the following year.

"There has been a great deal of enthusiasm generated statewide for the series between Memphis and Tennessee," UM Athletics Director R.C. Johnson said. "We are very pleased to have this matter resolved and that both the football and basketball rivalry between our two institutions will continue into the future."

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