Each of the four teams that will make their way to Brooklyn for games November 23-24 will have two home games to play in the regional round. Those opponents will come from a four-team pool of Belmont, IUPUI, Kennesaw State and South Alabama, with those teams being selected well in advance of today’s announcement.
There will be a separate four-team event hosted by Kennesaw State November 23-24, and as is the case with the semifinal round in Brooklyn those games will be announced at a later date. Below are the regional round matchups.
Milwaukee Regional (hosted by Marquette) November 13: Belmont at Marquette November 16: IUPUI at Marquette
Raleigh Regional (hosted by NC State) November 15: South Alabama at NC State November 18: IUPUI at NC State
Baton Rouge Regional (hosted by LSU) November 16: Kennesaw State at LSU November 19: South Alabama at LSU
Tempe Regional (hosted by Arizona State) November 16: Belmont at Arizona State November 19: Kennesaw State at Arizona State
NCAA tournament participants Belmont, LSU and NC State part of Legends Classic field
Wednesday afternoon the Gazelle Group announced that the field for the 2015 Legends Classic has been filled. The four teams that will automatically “advance” to the semifinal round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn November 23 and 24 were known, with those teams being Arizona State, LSU, Marquette and NC State.
Wednesday’s announcement included the four teams that will play in the regional round were finalized as well.
Belmont, IUPUI, Kennesaw State and South Alabama are those four teams, and each of the four automatic semifinalists will play two games against those schools before heading to Brooklyn. Kennesaw State will host the subregional rounds between these four teams November 23 and 24.
Of the eight teams in the field three reached the NCAA tournament last month, with NC State beating LSU in the Round of 64 on their way to the Sweet 16 and Belmont losing to No. 2 Virginia in the Round of 64.
NC State returns a number of key players from that Sweet 16 team, including point guard Cat Barber, and while LSU lost starting forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey to the NBA they add a highly-regarded recruiting class led by Ben Simmons. Arizona State returns an experienced team in the first season of the Bobby Hurley era in Tempe, and Marquette adds one of the nation’s best recruiting classes led by five-star forward Henry Ellenson.
Matchups for all three rounds of the event will be announced at a later date.
No. 2 seed Virginia made a late push in the second half to pull away from No. 15 seed Belmont for a 79-67 win in the East Region. The ‘Hoos had a difficult time distancing themselves from the Ohio Valley Conference-champion Bruins, as a Craig Bradshaw 3-pointer pulled Belmont within two points at 62-60 with 4:36 left.
From there, Virginia (29-3) calmed down and closed out the game on 17-7 run, as they shot 21-for-25 from the free-throw line as junior guard Malcolm Brogdon led with 22 points. The Cavaliers also had 16 points from forward Anthony Gill, 15 points from forward Justin Anderson and 10 points from Darion Atkins on the afternoon as Virginia shot 45 percent (26-for-57) from the floor.
Anderson, an All-American candidate before going down with injury in February, played his best game since returning from injury. After going scoreless against Florida State and North Carolina in 26 minutes of action in the ACC Tournament, Anderson looked far more aggressive and assertive against Belmont, as he was 4-for-6 from the field and 6-for-7 from the charity stripe.
A healthy Anderson is critical for Virginia during the rest of the 2015 NCAA Tournament because they look like a serious Final Four threat with him near 100 percent.
Belmont (22-10) was led by a 10-for-19 shooting day from Bradshaw, as he finished with 25 points, but the high-scoring junior guard didn’t have much help from his Bruin teammates. Guard Evan Bradds was the only other Belmont player to finish in double-figures with 10 points.