The VCU Rams and Arizona State Sun Devils will clash in Brooklyn on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Legends Classic.
Game time: Wednesday, November 12, 8:30 p.m. ET
TV schedule: ESPN+
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
It’s about that time of year. Mid-season MTEs are about to get rolling in college hoops, and the 2022 Legends Classic will get things going on Thursday night in Brooklyn. Michigan and Pittsburgh will open the tournament, and an intriguing match-up between VCU and Arizona State will follow. Things will conclude with a championship and consolation game on Friday night.
VCU sits at 2-0 on the season with comfortable wins over Manhattan and Morgan State at home to start things off. And their trademark, as always, is defense. The Rams have held both of their opponents in the 50s out of the gate, and their pressure is forcing turnovers on 32.6 percent of possessions. That’s good for fourth in the nation, per KenPom. Arizona State will undoubtedly be a tougher test for Mike Rhodes’ defense, but expect VCU to try and create havoc at every opportunity.
As for the Sun Devils, they’re coming off a 67-66 overtime loss to Texas Southern, dropping them to 2-1 on the year. Which means they’re going to be hungry. Bobby Hurley’s squad does have wins over Tarleton State and Northern Arizona, but they certainly were expected to be 3-0 headed to Brooklyn. And more bad news… ASU had been prone to turnovers this season, averaging nearly 17 per game. They’ll need to lock that down if they’re going to have success on Thursday.
This one will feature two of the better point guards in the country in VCU’s Ace Baldwin, Jr. and Arizona State’s Frankie Collins. Baldwin is averaging 12 points and 7 assists per contest while adding an insane 5 steals per game. Collins is the Sun Devils’ leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, but he also checks in with 5 turnovers per game. Whichever guard wins that match-up is going to give their team a great chance to advance to the Legends Classic championship.
Prediction: VCU 69 – Arizona State 61