Despite Keith Clanton’s 29 points on senior night at UCF Arena, the 19th-ranked Memphis Tigers claimed their sixth outright Conference USA regular season title with a 76-67 victory over the UCF Knights. Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson each scored 19 points to lead the Tigers in a chippy contest.
After withstanding an opening 14-4 run by UCF, Memphis rallied to take a five-point lead at the half. There were 38 fouls called between the two teams and three technical fouls.
Toward the end of the game, Joe Jackson picked up two of those technicals on back-to-back incidents with 19 seconds left on the clock. Jackson and Knights’ junior guard Calvin Newell Jr. got physical with each other as UCF began to foul to reduce their deficit. After picking up his first technical, Pastner made an attempt to substitute Jackson out to avoid any additional issues between Jackson and Newell, only to have Jackson shove Newell prior to his exit from the game.
Jackson was subsequently ejected, but Curtis Shaw – head of C-USA officiating – confirmed that Jackson will not be suspended since the two technicals were not Class 2 offenses.
The fireworks did not end there, though. According to an eyewitness we spoke to afterward, a UCF fan threw something at the Tigers as they exited through the tunnels, specifically directed at head coach Josh Pastner. The fan was also cussing very heavily and hurling insults at Memphis’ team, to which Pastner asked for the fan to watch his mouth since there were kids near. Pastner followed up that request by asking the cops to remove the fan.
Former UCF point guard A.J. Rompza decided to go after Pastner on Twitter following the game, saying the following:
I would have tackled Pastnor since he never shook my hand after a game in three years!! Lol and then went at Jackson. @taylorbyoung
— AJ Rompza (@A3Rompza) March 2, 2013