The Auburn Tigers face off against the Richmond Spiders for the Legends Classic Championship in a battle of the unbeaten.
TV Schedule: Tuesday, November 26, 7:00 PM ET on ESPN 2
Arena: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
With the number of undefeated teams dwindling down as the season progresses two programs will look to continue their stay in New York to not only keep their momentum alive but to also win a preseason championship. This year’s Legends Championship finals will have the undefeated #18 Auburn Tigers (6-0) face the also undefeated Richmond Spiders (5-0) in a battle of who will fail first.
Auburn comes into this game off of a dominating 84-59 win against the New Mexico Lobos in the semifinals. The Lobos who are 5-2 and coming off an away win at perennial tournament team New Mexico State didn’t stand a chance against Auburn as they failed to bring the game within single digits throughout the last 26 minutes, in addition to committing 24 turnovers, making only 40% of the shots on the possessions that they did keep, and by going 4/19 from behind the arc. This win is just another feather in the cap of this year’s Auburn Tigers which have had their best start since the 2003-04 season where they won seven straight to start off the season.
Auburn’s high scoring offense is led by senior guard Samir Doughty who leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points per game and is second in rebounds on the team with 5.5 per game. In the frontcourt will be the freshman Issac Okoro and senior Austin Wiley. Okoro is second in the team in points with 14 points per game and Wiley leads the team in rebounds with 8.7 rebounds per game and is coming off of a double-double where he scored 14 points and rebounded 13 times.
Richmond will be coming into this game with their greatest start this millennium at 5-0, which is as good as you can get with a team of five returning starters that are all juniors or sophomores. While Auburn is has been the favorite in every game they played so far, Richmond is entering into the finals in what can be described as an upset by beating Wisconsin 62-52.
Even though both teams had high scoring offenses that were in the top 10 yesterday for most points per game, the Spiders weren’t able to score as well as they had the whole season as it was the first game they failed to crack 85 points but they did improve their defense as it was the first game this season where their opponent scored less than 60. After giving up nearly 100 points to both Vanderbilt and St Francis(PA) it is nice to see that the Spiders can hold a potential at-large team to only 52.
Richmond’s offense is led by junior guard Blake Francis with 18.6 points scored per game recently including a 19 point performance against Wisconsin. Their rebounding is led by junior forward Grant Golden with 9.0 rebounds per game and is another forward in this game coming off of a double-double, this time with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
it should be noted that the Atlantic 10 is 4-3 against the Southeastern Conference so far this season. Both teams have a win against their opposing conference which was also their second win with Auburn beating Davidson At a neutral site 76-66 and Richmond beating Vanderbilt 93-92 at home.
No matter whichever team wins it can be expected that it will be a high scoring affair with both teams posing a starting lineup filled with players that score double digits and up. In the end, Auburn will pick up the win due to their superior defense but it will not be as much of a blow out as their other victories have come.