Arizona State men’s basketball upsets No. 20 Michigan to win Legends Classic Championship
The Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team upset the No. 20 Michigan Wolverines 87-62 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to win the Legends Classic on Thursday night.
It was the most lopsided championship game in the event’s 16-year history and ASU’s largest margin of victory against a ranked opponent.
“I thought it was an elite performance,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley told reporters postgame. “They were making plays all over the court.
“I just kind of told them, I’m kind of in awe of them a little bit. Just kind of took a step back and was watching and just proud of how they competed and performed and made plays out there.”
The celebration is on 🥳 pic.twitter.com/NVnCkzBhTT
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) November 18, 2022
Arizona State came out firing in the first half and took a 46-28 lead into halftime after shooting 18-for-32 from the field (56%) and 57% from three-point range (8 of 14). The Sun Devils finished the contest 60% from the floor, 58% from deep (11-for-19) and 86% from the free throw line (12 of 14).
Conversely, Michigan was a poor 34% from the field, including 4-for-22 from beyond the arc (18%) and 16 of 24 from the charity stripe (67%). Hunter Dickinson scored 14 points and Jett Howard had 12 for Michigan (3-1), which routed Pittsburgh 91-60 on Wednesday but shot just 34% against ASU.
“Getting beat like that is pretty embarrassing,” Dickinson said. “You don’t want to have that kind of wakeup call, but it happened. So for us, I feel like it’ll level us and kind of bring us back down to Earth that obviously we can’t just roll a ball out there and play and expect to win.”
Arizona State was led by Desmond Cambridge and DJ Horne, who had a game-high 20 and 19 points, respectively. Cambridge was named MVP of the tournament.
“I was looking at a lot of things that we did last night in that win and I think it started with our defense,” Horne said. “So I wanted to start there in this game today, emphasizing that defense is going to get us this win.”
ASU true freshman Austin Nunez had 15 and Luther Muhammad scored 13 for the Sun Devils (4-1), who reached the championship game by overcoming an 11-point deficit in the final nine minutes of a 63-59 victory Wednesday night over VCU.
Seven players scored during a game-opening 29-10 run by ASU, which scored on nine straight possessions during the surge but shot even better in the second half (66.7%) than in the first half (56.3%).
“Some of the shots were uncontested — that was disappointing,” Michigan head coach Juwan Howard said. “But there were times when they made shots that were contested because of the fact (of) the confidence level that they had.”
Michigan transfer and current Arizona State guard Frankie Collins had four points on 2 of 5 shooting, but did dish out five assists in addition to having two steals and three rebounds across 18 minutes played in his first game against his former school.
ASU was without Marcus Bagley, who did not make the East Coast trip due to a hip injury.
The matchup also featured a rematch between the two head coaches, who tipped off against each other in the 1992 National Championship game when Howard was at Michigan and Hurley was at Duke.
The Sun Devils entered shooting just 29.4% from 3-point territory but thrived against Michigan’s zone defense, going 8-for-14 in the first half.
ASU returns to Tempe to host Grambling State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.