Thursday, November 26, 2015

Legends Classic: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

Brooklyn, NY -­ Four games in two days. The Legends Classic gave us what might be labeled a ‘classic’ tournaments. Two one-possession games the first night, followed by two overtime contests on the final evening.

The field was comprised of programs from four major conferences: Arizona State (Pac-12), LSU (SEC), NC State (ACC) and Marquette (Big East). The site? Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Each coach referred to the venue as the ‘big stage.’ It is not Madison Square Garden in the neighboring borough. Regardless, Barclays is a first rate pro arena and host to some outstanding college basketball. Over the two days, another chapter added to Barclays’ ‘chapters.’

Marquette captured the title in an overtime victory over Arizona State. The first night, the Golden Eagles were literally on edge watching a potential game-winning three by LSU miss the mark. The largest margin of victory for the tournament was an 11-point win in the consolation by NC State at the expense of LSU. Naturally, in overtime.

These early season events afford a team some tough out of conference opposition as well as the idea of what might need improvement. Toward that objective, the Legends Classic served all four programs extremely well. The tournament also gave local fans a great opportunity to see up front and in person, several programs, normally reserved for ESPN or other networks. The 2015 Legends Classic did not disappoint. Not the tournament administrators, not the respective teams, and certainly not the fans, who were treated to some teams we just may hear from in March, as well as four closely contested games.

LSU going through pregame warmups:
A panoramic view of Barclays Center:
Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, flanked by Henry Ellenson (left) and Luke Fischer (right):
One of Barclays Center's highlights is concessions named after the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Naturally, food associated with the area is featured:
Before day two, the obligatory reminder of our destination:
The Arizona State huddle before overtime of the championship game:
Marquette's Henry Ellenson receives his Tournament MVP award:

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