The championship game of the Legends Classic is set to tip on Tuesday night, as the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers square off against the Georgetown Hoyas.
Indiana has proven in the early going why it was granted the No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll by winning all four of its games by double digits. While the Hoosiers put up 87 points or more in each of its first three games, its matchup with Georgia on Monday night was a bit more sluggish, but it still managed a 66-53 win.
After having its opener against Florida aboard the U.S.S. Bataan in Jacksonville vacated after halftime, Georgetown proceeded to open its season with two home wins over Duquesne (61-55) and Liberty (68-59). The Hoyas then headed to Brooklyn to take on UCLA in the first round of the Classic and shocked the nationally-ranked Bruins, 78-70.
The teams have split the all-time series at one game apiece, and they haven't met since 1979.
The Hoosiers' dominance has been reflected on both the win column and the stat sheer. They are shooting 51.4 percent from the floor, outscoring their opponents by 34 ppg, and they own an astounding plus-16.8 rebounding margin. It was an off-shooting night by IU's standards against Georgia (.449), but it was able to hold the Bulldogs to just 34 percent from the field. Leading the way for the Hoosiers was Victor Oladipo, who tallied 15 points while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls each scored 14 points, with Hulls doing so on 4-of-6 from three-point range. Cody Zeller had a surprisingly quiet night with just six points and four boards, but he's still the team's top performer on the young season with 14.8 ppg on better than 71 percent shooting. The 7-0 sophomore is also the team-leader in rebounding with 7.5 per game. Watford is hot on Zeller's heels (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg), and he has hit 25-of-27 from the free throw stripe. Hulls (11.0 ppg, 4.5 apg) makes more than 56 percent of his three-pointers and Oladipo (10.3 ppg) has a team-high 11 steals.
Coming into its matchup with UCLA, Georgetown had put up merely modest numbers at the offensive end of the court with 45.5 percent field goal shooting and 64.5 ppg, but it pu forth its best effort of the season on Monday in draining nearly 55 percent of its total shots as it led by as many as 14 points in the second half. Markel Starks shined for the Hoyas with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor while also adding four steals. Starks' 23-point effort more than doubled the 12 total points he put up in the first two games. Otto Porter was also fantastic, stuffing the stat sheet with 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals. Greg Whittington tallied 13 points and Nate Lubick added 11 points, five boards, and four assists in the win. D'Vaughn Smith-Rivera had averaged a team-high 15.0 ppg through the first two contests, but he was shut out against UCLA.