- No. 18 Arizona State and No. 3 Villanova meet Thursday night in the Legends Classic championship game in Bubbleville at Uncasville, Conn.
- All-American Remy Martin scored 20 points to lead Arizona State over Rhode Island 93-88 in the first round
- Villanova rallied past Boston College 76-67 in the opening round behind Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s 18 points
Arizona State and Villanova got their seasons started on a good note Wednesday and will now meet in an interesting Thanksgiving night showdown.
The 18th-ranked Sun Devils and third-ranked Wildcats will meet at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday night in the Legend Classics championship game at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort – aka Bubbleville – in Uncasville, Conn.
Villanova is favored to win the matchup of top 20 teams.
#3 Villanova vs #18 Arizona State Odds
|Villanova||-240||-5.5 (-106)||Over 153.5 (-110)|
|Arizona State||+194||+5.5 (-114)||Under 153.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov. 25 at FanDuel.
Martin Leads Arizona State
Arizona State senior guard Remy Martin lived up to his billing as a preseason All-American by scoring 20 points against Rhode Island. It was the 26th time in his career he reached that figure.
we're all just guests at the Chef's table.
26 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in Remy's senior season opener 👨🍳 🤌
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) November 26, 2020
Freshman Marcus Bagley added 16 points while Taeshon Cherry, highly touted freshman Josh Christopher and Holland Woods added 11 each. Arizona State failed to cover the 6.5-point spread.
The game included 81 free throws, 55 personal fouls and two technical fouls.
Chris Osten’s three-point play with 2:59 remaining put the Sun Devils ahead for good at 89-86.
It was only fitting that Arizona State would start the season with a big offensive performance. The Sun Devils averaged 78.1 points a game in Bobby Hurley’s first three seasons as coach.
Robinson-Earl Rallies Villanova
Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to rally the Wildcats from a nine-point deficit. He sat out much of the first half while in foul trouble.
Guard Collin Gillespie, also a preseason All-American, had 15 points. Justin Moore and Caleb Daniels added 14 apiece.
🎥 WIN No. 1️⃣ pic.twitter.com/PNGlhSyA9r
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) November 26, 2020
Picked to finish 14th in the ACC and 15.5-point underdogs, Boston College took a 58-49 lead with 13 minutes and appeared on its way to an upset. However, the Wildcats responded with an 11-1 run to move in front 60-59.
Villanova took the lead for good, 63-61, on a hook shot by Moore with just over six minutes to go.
Coach Jay Wright was concerned his team might show some rustiness after Villanova was forced to stop practicing for two weeks in September because of COVID-19 issues. His fears turned out to be justified.
Sitting out the tournament are two players expected to play key roles for Villanova in forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and guard Bryan Antoine.
Crosby-Roundtree has a shin injury. Though he averaged just 1.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 2019-20, he had moved up the depth chart following the departures of forward Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels.
What an amazing fan art sign for Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree pic.twitter.com/A4fxqte6SU
— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) January 24, 2018
Antoine has had a setback in his recovery from shoulder surgery performed in 2019. He was limited to 16 games last season and a 1.1 scoring average.
The teams are meeting for the second time. The first came during the 1993-94 season when Arizona State notched a 73-62 victory.
Then coached by Bill Frieder, the Sun Devils did have to future NBA players on the roster in Stevin Smith and Mario Bennett. Coached by Steve Lappas, Villanova had three players go on to the NBA – Kerry Kittles, Jason Lawson and Alvin Williams.
It seems a safe bet that Martin, Christopher and Gillespie – at the very least – will be three of the players who suit up for Thursday night’s game that will play in the NBA next season.
Collin Gillespie is the next Chris Paul
— StevieSales (@StevieSales) November 25, 2020
First though, Villanova and Arizona State square off in Bubbleville in what should be a good ballgame to wrap up to the holiday.
Look for the Sun Devils to sneak under the number in a game likely to be played on tight terms.
Pick: Arizona State +5.5 (-114)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.