Did you feel left out this March when the Ohio State men’s basketball team didn’t get invited to any postseason tournaments? Well, now’s your chance to see Buckeyes compete for a championship on the hardwood.
When the fourth edition of The Basketball Tournament (TBT) comes to the court this summer, there just might be a decidedly Buckeye feel to it, as five former Ohio State basketball players have united to form team Scarlet & Gray.
All-time great OSU point guard Scoonie Penn will serve as the team’s general manager, and more recent Buckeye alums Aaron Craft, Dallas Lauderdale, and Evan Ravenel will headline the team. They will be joined by former Bowling Green standout guard Nate Miller and Northern Illinois power forward Leon Rodgers. Cleveland.com reports other Buckeye greats, like Deshaun Thomas, are also expected to join.
Buckeye one-year wonder and former number one overall NBA Draft pick Greg Oden is said to be participating (including on The Basketball Tournament’s official website and in a press release) in the team as well.
"He'd make a huge impact on our chances,” team manager Scoonie Penn told SB Nation. “I am about to reach out to him shortly to be 100% sure, but he says he's in."
Despite the pro and former pro firepower, the Buckeye team is not guaranteed to be a part of the tournament. With four regions set to host the opening rounds, only 15 teams will be selected to participate at each venue. Nine teams will automatically be entered based on popularity; fans can vote for team Scarlet & Gray now through June 1st. Six more teams will be selected as at-large entries, based on specific criteria, and then a 16th team will be added to each region, after the TBT play-in Jamboree.
TBT features 64 teams comprised of professional, international, and former college basketball players in a single-elimination, 5-on-5 tournament for a winner-take-all $2 million dollar prize.
The regional competitions will take place in Charlotte, NC; Philadelphia; Las Vegas; and Peoria, IL in July, with teams advancing from there to the semi-finals in Baltimore from August 1st through 3rd. All 63 games of the tourney will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, beginning on Saturday July 8th.
After being involved with the tournament’s first two years in New York, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will serve as TBT’s host when it visits his hometown of Baltimore.
Here’s hoping Ohio State can make a deep run in the Tournament.