BROOKLYN, NY - Classics, oft-used synonyms for tournaments, do not always render games classified as such.
There are times the basketball gods look favorably and give us, if not a true classic, something to enjoy and favorably remember.
Withstanding the crowded No. 2 train to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center proved to be more than worth it. Notre Dame and Northwestern squared off in a game probably more fitting to be contested in the Windy City, Chicago. Tonight the venue was Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in the championship of the Legends, you guessed it, Classic.
Notre Dame dictated play early, and a few minutes into the second half, enjoyed a twelve-point lead. Northwestern dug in and showed us the type team and character Chris Collins’ team has. The lead changed hands in the stretch. Finally, Notre Dame pulled it out on a take-charge penetration by Matt Farrell, fittingly the tournament MVP.
Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish, with an affinity to playing in this building, kept their record unblemished at 5-0. In defeat ,Northwestern showed the crowd they are a group headed in the right direction.
A game that Notre Dame threatened to open up, the response by their opposition, an affair not settled until the final seconds, it all adds up to a game very much worthy of being labeled a championship contest.
The proliferation of early-season events is entertaining for the fans. Teams don’t mind trips to Cancun or Maui either. In many cases, the semifinals or championships can be one-sided yawners. Not here. Not tonight. The Fighting Irish and Wildcats gave us a championship, right down to the final seconds. A classic final and one worthy of being called that, with no regrets about catching the subway back home.
The No. 2 train beckons for the journey into Brooklyn:
A short 20-minute ride later, we reach our destination:
Jeff Anderson, one of the more highly regarded officials in the nation, drew the whistle alongside fellow referees Roger Ayers and Tim Comer:
With a 5-0 record in Brooklyn, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has found Barclays Center to be much to his liking:
Notre Dame's Matt Farrell breaks down the Northwestern defense:
The Legends Classic, highlighted on the scoreboard:
Matt Farrell accepting Most Valuable Player honors:
Northwestern coach Chris Collins meets the media:
Finally, celebrity row welcomed a political visitor, New Jersey governor and avid Notre Dame fan Chris Christie: (Photo by Jaden Daly/Daly Dose Of Hoops)