Cheers, friends. Football and basketball recruiting are both back in full swing after a year-long absence, our college basketball podcast still does not have a name, and we’ve officially made it to the weekend. Lots to be excited about, but none of those are quite as exciting as Connor and Justin returning to your screen to debate another spicy basketball-related topic in “You’re Nuts.”
Last week, we argued who we want taking the final shot in a tie game with the shot clock turned off. The make-or break, walk-off or “I guess we’ll just take it to overtime” shot that every player wants so badly. Connor went with the Mormon machine Jimmer Fredette, and Justin chose Columbus-native Trey Burke.
With 42% of the vote, Connor/Jimmer won, just narrowly beating out the “You’re both nuts, these choices suck” option with 33% of the vote.
(Side note: what the hell, guys?)
Justin/Burke garnered the remaining 25% of the vote, as his Columbus roots obviously were not enough to overcome his playing for the University of MeatChicken to our readers.
Connor now leads the Nuts World Series 4-0 over Justin, but there’s plenty of time for a comeback, as we will continue to write this nonsense every Friday until someone tells us to stop.
After 4 weeks
This week we’re talking TBT as the annual $1 Million, winner-take-all tournament is drawing closer and closer. There will be plenty of coverage of Carmen’s Crew this summer, so today we’re going to talk about two of the other teams in the field.
As always, if you agree with one of us, let us know in the comments below, or respond on Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in particular, or anything Ohio State/TBT-related!
Today’s Question: Which team (other than Carmen’s Crew) are you most excited to watch in TBT this summer?
Connor’s pick: Team Sideline Cancer
The last two weeks our Sideline Cancer team got to share some special moments together during our journey to the championship of @thetournament. We appreciate all of our purple family for their support and thank you to @TeddyHughes10 for creating this picture. Yes...We Believe pic.twitter.com/0CnNlTJX3g— Sideline Cancer TBT (@SidelineTBT) July 15, 2020
Sideline Cancer has participated in TBT every year since the tournament started in 2014, and it seems every year they win at least one game or upset a higher-seeded team. Two years ago, they upset the Wichita State alumni team “The Shockers” in Wichita on their home floor in the regional final. That upset made me mark them down as a “team to watch” in last summer’s TBT.
They absolutely ended up being a team you had to watch last summer, as the purple-clad, 22-seed Sideline Cancer squad upset the 11-seed (Team Hines), 6-seed (Challenge ALS), 3-seed (Boeheim’s Army), and 2-seed/four-time TBT champion Overseas Elite to advance all the way to the championship game. They eventually lost to the No. 4 Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni) in the final game, but all of America was pulling for the men in purple as they battled for the million-dollar prize.
While they didn’t have the star power some other rosters possessed, they had four reliable scorers in former NCAA scoring champion Marcus Keene (Central Michigan), Remy Abell (Indiana/Xavier), Maurice “Mo” Creek (Indiana/George Washington), and Eric Thompson (Pacific).
They’ve paired up with the Greg and Cathy Griffith Family Foundation to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, which is one of the world’s deadliest cancers and afflicts over 50,000 Americans every single year. Cathy Griffith lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in 2011, and two years ago after Sideline Cancer’s upset win over the Aftershocks in Wichita, the team had her “move the bracket” for them.
(Mrs. Griffith was not able to attend TBT last season due to COVID-19 restrictions, but will be in attendance this summer, no doubt)
Yes, this summer we plan to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer at @thetournament and we plan to do this again too! #SidelineCancer pic.twitter.com/7EcreJzGSE— Sideline Cancer TBT (@SidelineTBT) May 8, 2020
Even before their magical run in last year’s TBT, Sideline Cancer has just been an easy team to cheer for. The alumni teams such as Carmen’s Crew and the Golden Eagles are fun, but a team united behind a cause — like battling pancreatic cancer— is even better.
Sideline Cancer made one massive addition to their roster during the offseason, recruiting former Michigan/UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins to the squad. Dawkins played for two seasons under John Beilein at Michigan before transferring to UCF, where his father Johnny is the head coach. Dawkins exploded for UCF as a junior, averaging 15.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 40.3% from beyond the arc. He was a career 42.2% three-point shooter in college. Dawkins chose to declare for the NBA Draft following his junior season, but was undrafted.
Armed with legitimate scoring threats in Keene, Dawkins, Creek, and Abell, Sideline Cancer is no joke, and will without a doubt be given more respect this summer when TBT seeds their teams (I thought giving them the 22-seed last year was a slap in the face).
But beyond the talented roster, they’re playing for a great cause and it really would be something if Cathy Griffith and her Sideline Cancer team march straight back to the championship game this summer.
Justin’s pick: Zip ‘Em Up
Well to say this has been trainwreck might be an understatement, so instead of trying to win anymore I am just going to go off the rails.
There are a lot of teams that intrigue me in this year’s TBT. First of all, the TBT does an amazing job organizing and getting together top talent every season. I am not going to mention that I had this idea of an alumni tournament when I was 7 in my backyard and I am pretty sure TBT owes me a lot of money.
They also do a great job of getting new teams and expanding every season. This is apparent in the team that I picked, Zip ‘Em Up, the Xavier alumni team.
This team is made up of Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura, Jeff Robinson, Sean O’Mara, Mark Lyons, Kaiser Gates, Kerem Kanter, Semaj Christon and Sterling Gibbs. If you have followed college basketball over the last decade, names like Lyon, Macura, Christon and Blueitt will stand out as not only star players for the Musketeers, but also on the national level in their college days as well.
Zip ‘Em Up is a new team to TBT this year and like House of Paign last season (a team I know all Carmen Crew fans know quite well), they are looking to make a splash in their debut.
I like this team because they match up for a tournament like this really well. They have a solid mix of size and athleticism and they have guys who can create shots for themselves as well as catch and shoot guys. Macura might be one of the best catch-and-shoot guys in the entire field.
Trevon Blueitt and Mark Lyons are two of the better newcomers in the tournament and will give any of the stars on the other teams a run for their money (literally).
Another thing this team has going for them is chemistry. Most of these guys played together at some point at Xavier so while they may be a first time addition to The Basketball Tournament, they have played basketball together before.
According to the official TBT twitter, it is safe to say they agree with both Connor and I.
TBT 2021 POWER RANKINGS— TBT (@thetournament) June 3, 2021
How did @InsideTbt do?!? pic.twitter.com/0N1Z23CG2M
Honestly, if I lose this one, I won’t miss an ounce of sleep for it. Sideline Cancer is an awesome team with an awesome cause. As long as they don’t play Carmen’s Crew, they will have my eye for sure.
But always remember, it’s all about King Diebler and Carmen’s Crew. And yes, I do believe Aaron Craft is playing.
Which non-Carmen’s Crew team are you most excited to watch?
This poll is closed
Sideline Cancer (Connor)
Zip ‘Em Up, Xavier Alumni (Justin)
While I respect both of your opinions, neither of these teams excite me