The Hall of Fame Classic has some quality teams with Missouri, Butler, and Oklahoma all being showcased. There isn’t a clear favorite in this early season tournament, which should make it pretty exciting in the four-team contest. Butler and Missouri is going to be a must-watch defensive battle.
Dates: November 25-26, 2019
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Butler vs. Missouri
Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Butler comes into the tournament 5-0. They’ve been playing great basketball on both sides of the ball this season. They rank in the top-30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to Kenpom. The Bulldogs also don’t turn the ball over on offense where they rank third in the country. They’re a balanced team with four players averaging double digits this season, and don’t really have major flaws.
The Missouri Tigers have been winning games thanks to their defense. They’re holding teams to 53.8 points per game, and rank seventh in defensive efficiency. The one weakness they have is their three-point shooting. Missouri ranks 313th in that category, according to Kenpom, so they could have an affect if they play a dominant big man. Their first-round matchup against Butler should be really fun.
Oklahoma is off to a 5-0 start, and have wins over Oregon State and Minnesota. Kristian Doolittle is averaging 16.5 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. Doolittle and guard Austin Reaves have been a great combo to watch. Now, they do struggle to rebound at times, and don’t force many turnovers on defense. This will be something to watch for in their game against Stanford.
Stanford is another team has been great on the defensive end this season. The Cardinal ranks 50th in defensive efficiency, according to Kenpom, and are holding teams to 57.2 points per game. This tournament will be a good test for Stanford as they haven’t had a true test this season. However, their rebounding is suspect, and ranks 319th in the nation. This could be the deciding factor in this tournament.
Oklahoma should beat Stanford in the first-round. Both teams are bad at rebounding, but Oklahoma is the better team all-around. Stanford’s schedule is a bit concerning as well. The Butler and Missouri game will be the better of the two as both teams are evenly matched. The Bulldogs should have the slight edge, as they really don’t have a true weakness. Missouri does struggle shooting three’s so Butler should edge them out.
Potential finals matchup
Oklahoma will most likely get here, and it’s a toss up between Missouri and Butler. Whoever wins the Missouri/Butler game should take home the title. Oklahoma’s rebounding can be suspect at times even though Doolittle does average 10 a game. The Tigers and Bulldogs defense is really good, so that should be enough to get them the title.