With a 91-72 win over Connecticut, Iowa took home the 2018 2K Empire Classic. It wasn’t the team most expected to take home the tournament victory, but then again, the entire tournament went this way.
It all started on Thursday night, when old Big East foes Syracuse and UConn squared off. The Orange came out flat footed, and could never rally a run of any good amount to take a good lead, or for that matter, any lead of all in the second half. The Huskies were able to hit 12 threes total – some that were VERY deep, and took down the 15th ranked Orange in the end.
Game two featured 13th ranked Oregon and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Oregon started flat footed just as Cuse did in the prior game, and similarly couldn’t come back from it, leading to an Iowa victory in a complete route. Just like that, the tournament produced the matchups it wanted from the start – but just not in the right order.
The consolation game earlier today took place between two top 15 teams in Cuse and the Ducks. Both started out slow, but once again the Syracuse offense couldn’t keep up with Bol Bol and co., giving the Ducks the win and the Orange a 2-2 record for the first time in over 25 years.
Finally, came the championship game. Like the other three games, Iowa started out hot, and UConn wasn’t able to make a run to come back, as the Hawkeyes took home the 2K Empire Classic title.
It wasn’t the tournament we expected, but then again, when are these early season tournament anything but odd.