The Tigers continued an era of excellence throughout the 1980s and went to the Final Four in 1985 losing to Villanova, the ultimate winner of the tournament. The 1985 Final Four trip has since been vacated by the NCAA due to several recruiting violations committed by head coach Dana Kirk and his staff. Success continued through much of the 1990s. Under head coach John Calipari, the Tigers reached the Elite Eight three years in a row (2006–2008) and those same years won the conference championship, going undefeated in conference play in 2007 and 2008. Their record for those three seasons is 106–9. In 2007, the team was ranked #1 in ESPN's and CBSSports. com Pre-Season Polls and for the first time in 25 years, earned a #1 ranking on January 21, 2008 in both the AP Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. The 2008 season took the Tigers to the Final Four where Memphis lost the championship game to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime, but later the Tigers' season and NCAA tournament appearance were vacated. In 2009, the Tigers entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed. However, they lost in the Sweet Sixteen to Missouri, 102–91. In April 2009, Josh Pastner was named head coach of the Tigers. He led the Tigers to four NCAA tournament appearances in his first five years, but never advanced past the round of 32 and missed the postseason entirely in his sixth and seventh seasons. In April 2016, a month after he had been named Sporting News Coach of the Year, Tubby Smith was hired as the new head coach of the Tigers.
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