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Duke wins 2019 Empire Classic

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The Empire Classic is back and this year hosts some of the best basketball teams in the country.  Coming off of an impressive win vs the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns,  head coach Patrick Ewing brought a young and scrappy Georgetown Hoyas team to his former home, Madison Square Garden.  They faced legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Duke Bluedevils, who blew out the Cal Golden Bears in the semifinals the day before.  The last time these two teams faced each other at the Empire Classic Championship it was 2015 where Duke came out victorious.

Duke freshman Cassius Stanley had a game high 21 points in the Empire Classic Championship. Photo courtesy of Cal Griffin / ATH

History would repeat itself as Duke defeated Georgetown 81-73 in front of a capacity crowd.  Although most of the spectators looked to be sporting Duke paraphernalia, there were a lot more Georgetown Hoyas fans than expected.  Each team was prepared for battle but in the end, it was Duke who would prevail.  Led by freshman Cassius Stanley’s 21 points and 8 rebounds,  Duke was able to get the job done.  Vernon Carey Jr. also chipped in 20 points of his own.  

Georgetown’s big man Omer Yurtseven made things difficult for Duke by pouring in 21 points while his teammate James Akinjo had 19.  In the end, the game came down to which team showed more poise.  Duke easily broke Georgetown’s full-court pressure and scored easily time and time again.

Duke Center Veron Carey Jr. won Tournament MVP of the Empire Classic. Photo courtesy of Cal Griffin/ ATH

Initially, Georgetown came out hot utilizing their combination of size and athleticism.  Sophomore guard Mac McClung shot the ball well and helped Georgetown earn a double-digit lead in the first half.  Late in the first half Duke climbed back into the game and never looked back.  Vernon Carey Jr. was a force to be reckoned with in the paint while Cassius Stanley was a marksman from outside connecting on 3-3 from beyond the arc.

“We felt that we could be good defensively… We’ve devoted most of our practice time to defense and as a result, I think we’ve gotten tougher…”


Coach K, Duke Head Coach

Wendell Moore also was a catalyst in securing the W for Duke driving to the rim and get easy buckets on several occasions.  He chipped in 17 points and 6 boards of his own.  

Duke defeated the Georgetown Hoyas to become the 2019 Empire Classic Champions. Photo courtesy of Cal Griffin/ ATH

Vernon Carey Jr. was selected the 2K Empire Classic MVP and will be a major problem for Duke’s opposition this year.  If everything goes according to plan he will surely be a lottery pick in the next NBA draft.  His combination of size and athleticism is unprecedented and definitely makes him a tough cover for anybody in the country.  This year’s Duke team will have to work for every win they can get.  This year they don’t have the instant offense players that they had in the past but with Coach K at the helm anything is possible.  Stay Tuned.

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Basketball

WTF Baron Davis | Season 1 Episode 1

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It appears to be a normal day at the Davis household. Then Brandon “B-Dot” Armstrong storms in ready to make his entrepreneurial dreams a reality only to find Baron working on a wolf puzzle with his next door neighbor Kenny, a tech wizkid living under the thumb of his leech parents. Baron also introduces B-dot to Ron, a political strategist whose strategy appears to be eating Baron’s cereal and roasting B-dot. 

We also meet Baron’s team: Andy, an exuberant and enthusiastic business manager who knows absolutely nothing about basketball (and potentially nothing about business) and Zoe, Baron’s ever-unimpressed publicist who’s just trying to pick up her paycheck. 

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College Basketball

March Madness to Carry On Without Fans Due to Coronavirus

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We better get used to watching high-stakes basketball games being played in empty arenas, because that appears to be the norm that is heading our way with the outbreak of the coronavirus.

NCAA Selection Sunday is just a few days away, when the 2020 NCAA Tournament Bracket will be finally be set. Unfortunately this year’s March Madness tournament is going to be a whole lot different.

The NCAA has announced that the tournament will carry on as planned, but no fans will be allowed to attend the games.

It is tough to think back on some of the great moments in the history of March Madness and imagine them without the roar and anticipation of a crowd full of fans in attendance.

At the end of the day, playing without fans is better than the alternative of not getting to watch the games at all.

Every minute of March Madness excitement will still be available to watch on TV, it will just be presented in a different way.

Hopefully the games still prove to be as full of thrill and intrigue as we see every year, even with the element of a roaring crowd being left out.

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The BIG All-Star Experience | Powered By: SLiC Studios

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2020 All-Star Weekend in Chicago was an instant classic | Powered By: SLiC Studios

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