NYC National Tournament schedule reveal: We saved the best for last
Up until August 21, we’ll be releasing the pool play schedule for the 2019 New York City National Tournament. This is the final game of pool play, set to take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.
Villains (NV) vs. X Over (AZ)
So this should be a decent matchup. There’s a chance this is a championship preview set to take place in pool play. At the very least, I’d say there’s a good chance at least one of these teams will be playing for the title at 4:30 pm on Sunday.
I have tempered on my certainty that X Over are the clear favorites of this tournament now that Tevin Kelly will for sure not be playing. That puts a lot of pressure onto either Delonn Stevenson or Dewayne Pettus to step up offensively, as X Over are not just losing Kelly’s scoring, but his ability to run an offense as well. X Over still may be the favorites in the tournament, but not having Kelly really opens up the chance that teams like the Villains and the DMV Ballers will be able to compete with them.
Another interesting aspect of this game is that both teams are traveling around 2,500 miles to play in this tournament, and both will have to get used to shifting from Pacific to Eastern time. That is an advantage that teams on the East have over either of these teams, but it won’t be a factor here, as both teams will be dealing with it.
Josh McCarver (NV) vs. Travis Gabbidon (AZ)
This is bound to be an entertaining matchup between the best defensive big man in the tournament versus the best offensive big man in the tournament.
McCarver is the better two-way player, as he can shut down opposing frontcourts on defense and give them nightmares on offense. He can be a prolific scorer, as he’s averaging 25.8 points this season in Summerlin and Green Valley, but no matter what competition he’s facing he’s always an efficient scorer. His 66% field goal percentage is third-best in UH history, and it only dips to 64% in 16 national tournament games. No matter how many points he averages in this tournament, he’ll likely shoot at least over 50%.
He’ll have his hands full defensively trying to handle Gabbidon. I don’t think there’s any player in UH that can stop Gabbidon, but McCarver might be able to slow him down. After rewatching the X Over-Ball So Hard this week, it’s incredible to see what Gabbidon was able to do against Zach Andrews and Dwight Pederson, both elite defensive players. It wasn’t his most efficient performance, as he shot 8-22 from the field, but he led the game with 23 points and had a stretch near the end of the game where X Over went to him on every possession and he either got a bucket or got to the free-throw line.
He did all of this coming back from a foot injury he suffered last December. He’s had three months to heal and should be close to 100% in this tournament. He won’t have Kelly to play off of, but I still expect him to be a destroyer this weekend. He’s not a great defensive player, and he’ll have to deal with McCarver or Reggie Jackson throughout, which will be tough, but he should focus on putting all of his energy into offense and let him go off for 30 a game.
This is very hard to call. If Kelly was playing I’d for sure pick X Over, but now this is looking like more of a toss-up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either team win and possibly secure the 1-seed by doing so. I’ll stick with the defending champs until they prove me wrong. X Over wins by four points.