Two teams that have looked good early on this year will matchup in Tuesday’s MGM Resorts Main Event Tournament Final. The Clemson Tigers will face the top-25 ranked Colorado Buffaloes.
TV schedule: Tuesday, November 26, 11:30 pm ESPN2
Arena: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Tigers lost their first game this year to a conference foe, the Virginia Tech Hokies, who just beat Michigan State, so maybe that’s not a bad loss after all. They have won their next five games and needed overtime to beat a fairly good TCU team on Sunday night in the first round of the MGM Tournament. The Horned Frogs had a 15 point lead with just under eight minutes to go in the game before Clemson stormed back and got the game to overtime, where they hung on for a two-point win 62-60.
Clemson is led by guard Tevin Mack and forward Aamir Simms. Mack is on his third team, playing at Texas for two years before transferring to Alabama. He left Alabama for Clemson when Avery Johnson was fired. Mack is averaging 16.2 PPG while shooting 57 percent from the floor and 45 percent from downtown.
Simms is averaging 10 PPG and just over nine rebounds. He is a true force inside and is doing a nice job compensating for the loss of Elijah Thomas. John Newman and Al-Amir Dawes are also averaging double figures in points, giving the Tigers some balanced scoring.
The Buffaloes come in undefeated and ranked 21st in the nation. They began their season by winning their opening conference game, unlike Clemson, against Arizona State. Tyler Bey is averaging a double-double with 14 PPG and 12 boards. McKinley Wright is the name everybody knows on the Buffs roster, and he is averaging 13 PPG. D’Shawn Schwartz is averaging 12.5 PPG while Evan Battey is contributing another eight rebounds.
Colorado’s first game in the MGM Tournament was against the Wyoming Cowboys. They struggled to score but stiffened up on defense, ending up with a 56-41 win. The Finals start at 11:30 EST Tuesday night but will not be televised.