clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How to watch the Ohio State alums in The Basketball Tournament Semifinals: TV times, streaming and more

Team Scarlet & Gray is just two wins away from $2 million!

Ohio State v Dayton Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Following an Ohio State basketball season that was little more than disappointing, the summer has brought a surprising shot in the arm for OSU hoops fans in need of a reason to get excited about Buckeye basketball again. First was the hiring of new head coach Chris Holtmann, shortly after the dismissal of the program’s winningest coach, Thad Matta. Then, once much of the Holtmann hoopla settled down, came The Basketball Tournament.

So far through four games, the single-elimination tournament has been a perfectly calibrated dose of nostalgia to remind Ohio State fans of some of the best moments of the Matta era, and also how exciting and dominant Ohio State basketball can be.

Tonight, a group of mostly Buckeye alums take to the floor just two wins away from claiming TBT’s ultimate, $2 million prize. Despite the big payday at the end of the tunnel, Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, William Buford, John Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale, and Evan Ravenel are playing for more than just pride and prize money; the team has dubbed their run in the tournament #ThisOnesForThad.

Nearly to a man, the former Buckeyes have spoken about how much it has meant to them to put on the Scarlet & Gray, non-trademark infringing uniforms one more time. Following an early, disappointing exit from the NCAA Tournament in 2011, these former OSU teammates are looking for redemption in Baltimore.

The squad will take on Team Challenge ALS at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN from Coppin State University.

How did we get here?

Under the watchful eye of team GM Scoonie Penn, Scarlet & Gray has made it look fairly easy through the first four rounds of TBT. In advancing out of the Midwest bracket, they have defeated their opponents by an average of 15.75 points per game, including a 25-point victory over the region’s top-ranked Golden Eagles in the regional final.

Still looking for an NBA home this fall, Sullinger has been efficient and, at times, dominant, averaging 14.5 points and nine rebounds per game in the shortened 36-minute contests. His once and current point guard, Craft has been stirring memories of his uber-efficient, well-rounded college days going for 10.5 points, 6.8 boards, and 5.3 assists per outing. He also has been earning some of his patented floor burns diving after loose balls.

What has made the team’s run so impressive is that contributions have come from just about everywhere. In the regional final, Lighty and Buford went for 23 and 21 respectively, while in the third round Craft and Sulinger turned in identical 21 point, nine rebound stat sheets, and in the second round, Diebler led the way with 21 points on 5-8 shooting from behind the arc.

The team has been effective at controlling the pace through the first four games. While it has been a few years, the team has benefited from the familiarity of having played together before, running more of an actual offense than many of their opponents, who resort to a pick-up ball mentality when the going gets tough.

The one bugaboo for the former Buckeyes has been their inability to hold onto the ball. They’ve averaged 14 turnovers per game thus far, but against the Golden Eagles in the regional finals, they only coughed it up seven times. If they want to eventually grab that $2 million, not giving the ball away so often will be a big help.

Who is Team Scarlet & Gray playing?

Team Challenge ALS is the lowest-seeded team remaining in the tournament, not that those rankings are based on much. Coached by Indiana Pacer Darren Collison, the team and its boosters have various incentives built into their success to benefit ALS charities and Ice Bucket Challenge founder Pete Frates who was roommates with Sean Marshall, the team’s GM and small forward, at Boston College.

Marshall, who averaged 21.5 points and eight rebounds in the first two games, sat out the tournament’s second weekend due to injury, but is optimistic about returning for the semifinals. In his stead, former NBA player Austin Daye joined the team for the third and fourth rounds, chipping in 10 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Like the Scarlet & Gray, they have somewhat coasted into the semifinals, winning by an average of 14.8 points per game. Therefore, if Craft, Sulllinger, and company can take control early, it will be interesting to see if this team, which has dealt with roster inconsistency thus far, can hang in with a team that has been playing together in one form or fashion for nearly seven years.

What’s next?

Should the Buckeyes advance to TBT’s championship game, they will either face the two-time defending champions, Overseas Elite, or the Syracuse alumni team, Boeheim’s Army. Overseas Elite has marched to the team’s third-straight semifinals in a most unusual fashion. Winning by an average of nine points per game, they have often had to recover from early deficits, including multiple double-digit holes against VCU alums Ram Nation in the regional finals.

Unlike the former Buckeyes, who have seen a player or two emerge to carry the mantle in each game, Overseas Elite has done it more by committee. In their two games during the tournament’s regional final weekend, they had five and six players score in double digits respectively.

Also, much like S&G has, they have been burdened by the turnover bug, committing a tournament-high 14.25 per game. If they are going to claim their second-straight $2 million prize, that will be a point of concern.

Want to take a guess what type of defense Boeheim’s Army plays? That’s right, the Hall of Fame coach’s signature 2-3 zone has made its way to the TBT, and helped the team overcome a 25-point deficit against Team FOE in the regional finals.

Former Orangemen Eric Devendorf and Donte Greene have led the team’s scoring with 18 and 17.3 points respectively. They have outscored their first four opponents by an average of 12 points, but that stat is deceiving when you figure in an opening round 99-66 win against DuBois Dream. Since then, it has been nip and tuck throughout, including a 106-100 double overtime victory in the second round against Iona alums, Gaelnation.

How to watch

Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Online: WatchESPN or on the App