The Legends Classic tips-off in Brooklyn on Monday. Auburn comes in as the favorite led by Bruce Pearl. Richmond is the best shooting team in the tournament, so if they can get hot don’t be surprised if they make a run this week.
Dates: November 25-26, 2019
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Wisconsin vs. Richmond
Auburn vs. New Mexico
Bruce Pearl has Auburn off to a 5-0 start this season. Their up-tempo offense and fierce defense is what has made the Tigers so successful. This year, they haven’t forced as many turnovers as last year. They rank 221st in turnover percentage, according to Kenpom. Auburn is still very good at shooting the ball, and rank 10th in effective field-goal percentage. They should take care of New Mexico first-round.
The Badgers have won four straight games after their opening season loss to St. Mary’s. Greg Gard is still trying to get the Badgers to that elite level that Bo Ryan had them at during his run. Wisconsin is led by Brad Davison Nate Reuvers who both average over 15 points per game. Right now, they have four players averaging double digits, and are on of the best free-throw shooting teams.
New Mexico has been getting their wins this season thanks to their offense. They rank 13th in adjusted tempo as they like to run on offense. According to Kenpom, they rank 36th in the country in effective field-goal percentage, which shows how good this offense can be. However, they do struggle on the defensive side, and turn the ball over quite a bit. These issue can hurt any team in a season.
The Spiders are another team that has lethal shooting. They rank fourth in effective field-goal percentage, and second in three-point shooting in the country, according to Kenpom. The Richmond guards are incredible with Nick Sherod, Jacob Gilyard, and Blake Francis averaging a combined 60.1 points per game. However, their defense isn’t great and they are the smallest team in this tournament.
Auburn will most likely take care of New Mexico in the first-round. The Lobos struggle defensively, and Auburns shooting should take advantage of it. Wisconsin should beat Richmond, but with the Badgers struggling to defend three-point shots, don’t be surprised if the Spiders guards heat up and hit big shots down the stretch.
Potential finals matchups
This tournament feels like it’s Auburns to lose. They will most likely beat the winner of Richmond and Wisconsin. A game against Richmond would be more fun to watch just by how good these offenses are. Wisconsin will be favored to make it to the finals, but Auburn should take home the title in Brooklyn.