Cheez-It Hall of Fame Tournament Recap

Cheez-It Hall of Fame Tournament Trophy Purdue Team Picture.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Cheez-It Hall of Fame tournament featured four teams at the time ranked in the top 25. Now entering the third week of the college basketball season, the Cheez-It Hall of Fame was a challenge for all four teams. Here is what we learned about each team.

Purdue (Champion 2-0)

The first test of the Boilermakers season was against North Carolina. Purdue had control of the lead for the whole 40 mins, which led to the win against North Carolina (93-84). The biggest surprise from this game was the 6’4 guard of Jaden Ivey getting the team-high in rebounds with ten. At the same time, the bigs of Caleb Furst and Zack Edey combined for only eight rebounds. The senior from Chicago, Trevon Williams, came off the bench to get 20 points to help Purdue get at least 90 points in their first four games before they faced Villanova.

Purdue proved to America that they could win the title in April with a top 10 ranked win against Villanova (80-74). All starters for Purdue scored in double-digits. After getting down by 11 in the second half, Purdue finished the game on a 34-17 run. Zack Edey had an excellent bounce-back game of 21 points and six rebounds. Purdue won’t be tested until they face an underrated Butler squad.

Villanova (1-1)

What a great game by Villanova to beat Tennessee (71-53). Villanova played great in all phases of the game. But the best part of the game was on the defensive end allowing only 53 points and locking down Tennessee’s best scorer of Kennedy Chandler. Jermaine Samuels got the best performance with a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Also, they got help from guards Collin Gillespie with 14 points and Justin Moore with 13 points.

This game was the third top 25 matchup of the year in their five games this season for Villanova. Jay Wright and Villanova had the lead going into the half 33-31. But what happened to the Wildcats in the second half? Fatigue, Jay Wright, only played seven players, with six players playing at least 20 minutes. Collin Gillespie played the entire game and had 14 points. This fatigue factor also led to Villanova losing the momentum while up by 11 in the second half. Justin Moore led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points.

Tennessee (1-1)

In their first game of the tournament, the Volunteers lost to Villanova (53-71). The only positive from this game was Santiago Vescovi, with season-high 23 points. The two most significant negatives from this game were Kennedy Chandler going one for nine with 6 points and never showing up when Tennessee needed their top scorer. The other negative was foul trouble. All of the starts except for John Fulkerson had at least three fouls. That led to Villanova building up their lead early.

The good news for Tennessee is they beat North Carolina (89-72). Santiago Vescovi led the Volunteers in this game with 17 points and Kennedy Chandler’s solid bounce-back game of 14 points. After Dawson Garcia gave North Carolina a one-point lead, Tennessee built a seven-point going into the half. In the game’s final ten minutes, Tennessee continued to make a more significant lead to get a 17 point win to get one win in the Cheez-It Hall of Fame tournament.

North Carolina (0-2)

Coming into this tournament, North Carolina did not look like one of the favorites to go 2-0 in two days. To start the two games, they lost to Purdue 84-93. North Carolina was up 65-64 when Purdue went on a 10-0 run, leading to Purdue’s nine-point win. Dawson Garcia led the Tar Heels with 26 points shooting 10 for 13. While R.J. Davis Caleb Love each got 18 points. Losing two of your starters Dawson Garcia and Armando Bacot, because of fouling trouble is not ok when you face a top-three team in the country.

The story of the second night in the loss to Tennessee 72-89 was the Paint dominance. North Carolina got outscored in the paint 54-22. As a team, North Carolina only had season-low nine assists. At the same time, Tennessee played team basketball with 28 assists. The Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek had the best performance with 24 points off the bench. But that wasn’t enough to get the win, and they failed to get an excellent non-conference win.

Up Next

Purdue: The Boilermakers will get an easy home matchup against Omaha on Friday, November 26th.

Villanova: The Wildcats will play their next game next Sunday against LA Salle on Sunday, November 28th.

Tennessee: They will take on Tennessee Tech (1-3) next Friday, November 26th.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels will play on Tuesday against UNC Asheville.

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  1. Pingback: (1) Gonzaga vs (2) UCLA Game Preview - Championship Sports Media

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