Orlando Classic 2014: Teams, Schedule, Live Stream, Bracket, TV Info

There might not be an early-season tournament with more uncertainty and intrigue than the 2014 Orlando Classic. 

In most years, you can pencil Kansas and Michigan State to a high seed in the NCAA tournament and assume they will win most big games throughout the season; however, that might not be the case this year as each squad has struggled in the early going with young lineups.

Meanwhile, a few other programs at this event are going through major rebuilds as well with new coaches and young players hoping to make an impact early in the season.

Despite the question marks for just about every team in the tournament, a lot will be answered by the end of the week. This will make each day a must-see for college basketball fans, so follow along this guide to prepare yourself for the Orlando Classic at HP Field House in Orlando, Florida.


Full bracket can be seen at ESPNEvents.com. All games can be viewed online at ESPN3


Player to Watch: Branden Dawson, Michigan State

Branden Dawson is not even the leading scorer on his team—that honor belongs to Travis Trice, averaging 18 points per game—but he has the potential to be the most dominant.

The senior forward is a great interior force despite being just 6’6″, and he knows how to finish in the paint when he gets the opportunity. The problem is that he hasn’t been aggressive enough on the offensive end of the court.

Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press notes this is something head coach Tom Izzo wants to see changed:

Dawson showed his potential last postseason when he scored 26 points in the third round of the NCAA tournament against Harvard before adding 24 in the Sweet 16 against Virginia.

He missed the last game with flu-like symptoms, but he should return for this tournament. If he plays to his ability, Michigan State should be in good shape.


Most Intriguing Team: Tennessee

Kentucky is clearly the best team in the SEC, and Florida has the talent to be No. 2, but the rest of the conference is wide open with no one excelling in the early going. While Tennessee lost a lot of production from last season, this group has what it takes to be competitive in this conference.

Former Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall has no problem keeping the pace as slow as possible and getting the most out of every possession. This was clearly not seen against VCU’s “havoc” defense, but the strategy will be more successful against opponents that also like to slow things down.

As a result, the Volunteers will see their quality scoring from Josh Richardson as well as the quality rebounding of Armani Moore. Freshman Detrick Mostella has also showcased plenty of potential in the early going of this season.

The key will be avoiding turnovers which become highlighted in a game with fewer possessions. If Tennessee’s veteran players can take care of this problem, it can pull off an upset or two in this tournament.


Predicted Winner: Kansas

With all of the inconsistency from the other teams in this tournament, it would be extremely surprising to see anyone in the finals other than Kansas and Michigan State. Even with young rosters themselves, both coaches will get their teams prepared with great defensive efforts through the entire week.

Of course, the Jayhawks are dealing with more maturity issues than we have seen in recent memory. Bill Self has been forced to adjust his starting lineup due to problems off the court, as he explained per Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star: ”If everybody was responsible off the court, we’d probably have more of the same starting lineups every time. And I don’t mean (players are) doing anything bad, but we got to tighten some things up. I see a lot of slippage on the court, and I think there’s a correlation to being responsible off the court, too.”

Without an experienced veteran taking charge, the younger players have no one to follow.

That being said, the talent on the roster is unmistakable. Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis have lacked aggressiveness at times, but they know how to score when they get a chance. The freshman class of Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre, Devonte Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will only get better with time as well.

As long as the team plays good defense and plays anywhere near its ability on offense, the Jayhawks should be able to defeat a Michigan State team without a deep bench.


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Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 11/24/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Orlando Magic, 106-74, on Monday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. LeBron James led the Cavs with 29 points and 11 assists in 31 minutes.

Watch the video for full highlights.

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Recapping the Orlando Magic’s Social Media Night

Even though the Orlando Magic’s Social Media Night occurred on Wednesday, it’s important to pick out some intriguing responses that guest tweeters posted on the Orlando Magic’s official Twitter account.
Magic CEO Alex Martins:

.@MagicMarkee Do we plan on hosting another All Star –> We do. Competition gets tougher every year. We’ll continue to put in bids. A.M.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 20, 2014

.@Ace32387 Most exciting year in magic history? –> The 94-95 season. Going to the @NBA Finals for the first time. A.M. #PureMagicSocial — Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 20, 2014


.@brownsam When could we expect to see the Magic in the UK? –> Been a long time. We hope to be back there soon. A.M. #PureMagicSocial
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 20, 2014

.@Atlantic_Equity Is the “rebuilding” coming along as planned? –> We’re definitely on plan and it feels like we’re turning the corner. A.M. — Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) No

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Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

After hanging in for 47 minutes, the Orlando Magic couldn’t withstand Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers late. They fell to the Miami Heat at home, 99-92. 

Bosh was feeling it all night, but reached another gear late in the fourth quarter. He finished 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, while Mario Chalmers shot 10-of-16 and finished with 24 and eight assists. 

Three-point shooting is what stood out for the Heat, going 12-of-26 from beyond the arc, compared to Orlando’s putrid 3-of-16 clip. 

Nikola Vucevic posted his career-high in points tonight, going up against Shawne Williams mostly, scoring 33 and hauling down 17 rebounds. He and Elfrid Payton stood out as difference-makers, the latter coming away with five steals in 22 minutes. 

Now 7-6, Miami inches closer to the division-leading Washington Wizards. Its next matchup comes Sunday at 6 p.m. ET against the Charlotte Hornets. The Magic fall to 6-9, and take on the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic 11/22/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The slumping Miami Heat looked to get themselves back on track on Saturday night when they took on the Orlando Magic. The Heat had dropped four of their last five games and faced an athletic young Magic roster that had won two of its last three. 

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Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets 11/21/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Charlotte Hornets looked to bring an end to their recent skid on Friday night when they took on the Orlando Magic. The Hornets had dropped three straight and five of their last six, and faced a stern test from a Magic squad who had won three of their last five. 

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How the Orlando Magic made the trade of the summer

Before free agency started last June, on the day of the draft, the Denver Nuggets and the Orlando Magic made a trade. The Magic sent Arron Afflalo to Denver for his second stint with the Nuggets, and Denver sent back Frenchman Evan Fournier, entering his third season, along with a second-round pick (which would become Devyn Marble).
At the time, the Magic and their general manager, Rob Hennigan, were mocked for participating in such a clearly one-sided trade. Afflalo had just finished his seventh NBA season and, incredibly, he had improved his scoring average during each and every year: from 3.7 points per game as a rookie with the 2007–08 Detroit Pistons to a team-leading 18.2 pointers per game with last year’s Magic. Factor in Afflalo’s considerable reputation as a hard worker, plus his relatively team-friendly $7.7 million salary (plus a $7.9 million player option for 2015–16), and who wouldn’twant that guy on their team?
Fournier, meanwhile, appeared to be an unproven com…

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic 11/19/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Los Angeles Clippers looked to get themselves on track on Wednesday night, when they squared off against the Orlando Magic. The Clippers had alternated losses and wins in their last seven games, and were looking to avoid their first two-game skid of the season, but faced a tough test from the athletic young Magic, who had won three of their last four games. 

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Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards 11/15/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The red-hot Washington Wizards looked to keep their run of success rolling on Saturday when they took on the Orlando Magic. John Wall and the Wizards had won two straight and six of their first eight, but they faced a tough test from a young Magic squad that had won two straight and four of its last six.

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic 11/14/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two of the most athletic young teams in the NBA squared off Friday night when the Milwaukee Bucks faced the Orlando Magic. The Bucks had won two straight but faced a tough test from a Magic squad who had snapped a two-game skid its last time out. 

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