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The Basketball Tournament coming to Columbus in July

Carmen’s Crew will (likely) look to defend their title on their home turf.

On Thursday, The Basketball Tournament announced that their 2020 fully-quarantined tournament would be taking place at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena, beginning on July 4. TBT will take place over 10 days as 24 teams will compete to be the last team standing in a winner-take-all, $1 million tourney. The entire tournament will air on ESPN and its family of networks, and, as it will be “fully-quarantined,” no fans will be in the arena.

Last season, a team of mostly Ohio State alums from the Thad Matta era called Carmen’s Crew won the then $2 million dollar prize. While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, one would imagine that they will be back to defend their title in their home town.

The team will again feature familiar faces like Aaron Craft, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale, Evan Ravenel, and Lenzelle Smith. Jared Sullinger will return as the team’s GM and head coach. Also returning will be Otterbein alum Jeff Gibbs.

But that isn’t the only OSU-centric team looking to make the field. For the second year in a row Ohio state grad and basketball staff member Andrew Dakich has put together Big X. Joining him will be fellow former Buckeyes C.J. Jackson, Keyshawn Woods, Andre Wesson, and Kaleb Wesson. Also on the team will be Michigan State and Gahanna High School alum Nick Ward.

Neither Carmen’s Crew, nor Big X have officially been accepted into the 24-team field as of yet, but I would wager that both have a fairly good shot of making the tournament. Bill Landis from The Athletic reports that the tournament’s teams will be announced on Tuesday, June 16.

I spoke to former Buckeye Joey Lane — who hosts the official TBT insider’s podcast — earlier this week for our podcast that will come out over the weekend. Some of what we talked about isn’t necessarily applicable anymore, but it was still great to catch up with our favorite towel-waving, cold-blooded sniper. So keep an eye out for that.