BYU will take on No. 12 Wichita State on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City to determine the champion of the 2013 College Basketball Experience Classic.
It is fitting that Wichita State is in the final. This tournament helps highlight inductions into the College Basketball Hall of Fame, and this year, Wichita State alum Xavier McDaniel was inducted.
Before the championship game, DePaul and Texas will wage battle in the consolation game to make for a full night of entertaining basketball.
I'll highlight what I'll be watching for tonight after I provide the goods on when and where to catch the action.
|DePaul vs. Texas||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU|
|BYU vs. Wichita State||*10 p.m.||ESPN2|
|*game will start 20 minutes after previous contest.|
Which Team Will Make an Early Statement?
This is an important early game for both teams. Texas has started the season with an impressive 4-1 record. However, the Longhorns faced their first legitimate challenge of the year in their last game and fell to BYU 86-82.
It was a solid showing for the Longhorns, but it also knocked this team back to reality after its perfect start.
Meanwhile, DePaul is 3-2 and was easily handled by Wichita State in its last game. Not that that was a big surprise. The Blue Demons don't have the talent to hang with the Shockers. This is especially true on the interior, where Wichita State outscored Depaul 50-30 in the paint.
That frontcourt could again be a problem for the Blue Demons in this matchup.
Texas is led in scoring by guard Javan Felix at 14.4 points per game. However, the Longhorns have a capable frontcourt. Center Cameron Ridley and forward Jonathan Holmes are both coming off of double-doubles.
Can Wichita State Keeps Its Impressive Start Rolling?
The Shockers are off to a great start to the season. They are a perfect 6-0 and haven't had an opponent finish within 14 points.
Of course, the Shockers have not faced the most difficult of schedules.
The 5-1 BYU Cougars figure to offer a stiffer test. BYU's lone loss this season was a 90-88 setback against No. 17 Iowa State.
The Cougars will look to push the pace in this game. They are fifth in the nation in scoring at 93.2 points per game.
The Shockers are averaging a far more modest 81.7 points per game. However, they can play some defense and have proven they aren't afraid of a shootout. The Shockers beat DePaul 90-72 to reach this final.
Senior forward Cleanthony Early leads the Shockers in scoring at 14.8 points per game, but this is a balanced attack with four players averaging double digits in scoring.
If the Shockers want to continue their winning ways, they would be well advised to slow down Tyler Haws. The junior guard leads his team in scoring at 26.0 points per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the field, including shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc.
This all sets up what should be a fast-paced and entertaining game that tells us a lot about these two teams.