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Top of the Arc - March 19, 2009

March 19, 1:30 p.m.: Where would Memphis be without Roburt Sallie?

The sophomore reserve guard, whose career high was 13 points entering today, scoreed 17 points in the first half to keep the No. 2 seeded Tigers ahead of Cal State-Northridge, which has shown an ounce of intimidation. Memphis leads 34-31 at the half.

Memphis players believe they can return to the national title game. The Tigers lead the nation in field goal percentage defense and believe they were worthy of a top seed in the NCAA tournament. For a half, though, they are not playing like a Final Four-caliber team.

Memphis point guard Tyreke Evans picked up his second foul seven minutes into the game and was a non-factor for the rest of the half. Memphis’s Robert Dozier and Shawn Taggart also drew two fouls apiece in the first half.

Northridge jumped out to a 9-2 advantage and managed to remain close even when Sallie got hot. His fourth three-pointer gave Memphis a 26-20 advantage with 8:20 left in the first half.

Worldwide Wes, one of the most influential power brokers in college basketball, took his seat behind the Memphis bench right before tip-off.

By Eric Prisbell  |  March 19, 2009; 1:31 PM ET
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