MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com)- It was a nail biting ending of the game between the Tigers and the Vols as the Tigers were only up by two points with seconds left of the game, on Saturday.
Fans breathed a sigh of relief as they watched the Tigers defeat the Vols in the end, but they are most proud of the teams continuous success.
Tennessee fan Keith McCroskey said this annual rivalry game is one of the best traditions because it brings out all of the fans from both sides. He said the game is “the battle of the best in Tennessee.”
“Everybody wants to be the top dog in Tennessee,” McCroskey said.
He said he’s excited to see the Memphis men’s basketball program successful again because it made the game between teams even more interesting.
“You got the west and you got the east, so everybody wants to be the best in Tennessee” McCroskey said. “When you come to Tennessee they want to be like who are you rooting for and the Vols are the top dog. Always have been. Always will be.”
Memphis fan Ryan Kelley said watching the men’s basketball take on teams like Tennessee and win is a great feeling and it makes the fans optimistic for what’s to come.
“It feels great,” Kelley said. “Just being a Tiger fan and getting to cheer, doing everything like going to the bars and having everyone else’s support it’s great.”
There’s been an excited energy from Memphis after the recent wave of wins from football to basketball.
Kelley said he is excited for the new football coach, Ryan Silverfield, to lead the team.
“Having a coach come out who loves the 901 and says he loves Memphis we’ll support him 100 percent,” Kelley said. “We’re behind him.”
Although the rivalry game will between the teams will be ending after next season, fans from both sides said this game is a tradition they hope to see come back.
“It’s a great tradition,” Kelley said. “I’d love to keep it going every year because Tennessee is a great team too, great recruiting class coming in next year too, so to have us kind of prove ourselves this year you want to play the best teams.”