UNCASVILLE, Conn., Sporting Alert — No. 1 Duke will tackle No. 21 Rhode Island in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament championship game live on the ESPN3 schedule on Sunday.
Live TV Channel: ESPN, ESPN3, @ 1:00pm ET
The banged-up Blues Devils took their spot into the final with a 78-68 victory over Penn State on Saturday, while the Rams earned a spot in the championship contest with a 76-71 comeback victory over No. 24 Cincinnati.
On Saturday, Duke (3-1) was led in scoring by talented freshman Frank Jackson, who had 17 points off the bench, while senior Amile Jefferson collected a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds and also blocked four shots.
Junior guard Grayson Allen was forced to leave the game in the first half against Penn State because of a toe problem but did return to collect 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals for Duke.
However, the Blue Devils, who are already without four players, could be without sophomore Chase Jeter, who rolled his left ankle in Saturday’s win.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski says he is doubtful for the game.
The Rams, meanwhile, will be looking to stay undefeated this season after picking up their fourth successive victory of the term against Cincinnati.
“I was coaching high school games seven years ago and driving vans around. Now we’re nationally ranked and playing Duke tomorrow for a championship,” Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley said.
“[Duke is] the premier program in the country that embodies everything you want in a college program. It kind of means a lot.”
E.C. Matthews scored 18 points to lead a balanced attack for the Rams against the Bearcats, as four Rhode Island starters reached double figures.
Kuren Iverson added 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Jared Terrell and Hassan Martin each poured in 14 points against Cincinnati.
“It’s a great win for us because of the opponent we played, just how great a team they are, how hard they play, how incredibly well-coached they are by that staff,” Hurley said.
“Any time you beat Cincinnati that’s one heck of a win and you gotta earn it.”
Meanwhile, Duke can also call on Luke Kennard and Matt Jones, who each scored 15 points against Penn State, to play extended minutes if needed, with Krzyzewski revealing that he’s done to seven players.
The Blue Devils are still without freshmen Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden.
Prediction: Duke 79, Rhode Island 65
Penn State will play Cincinnati tournament’s consolation game on Sunday.