As we move into mid-July, that only means one thing for diehard hoops fans: It is time for “The Basketball Tournament”.
For those of you who don’t know, TBT is an annual summer basketball tournament that takes place on ESPN with 64 teams battling it out in different regionals locations and then a Final Four, in a single-elimination tournament — very similar to the NCAA Tournament.
Anyone can play who is not currently on an NBA contract. Many teams are collegiate alumni teams made up of overseas professionals and teams that are funded by athletes such as Floyd Mayweather and Chris Paul. Some players have even used this as a springboard back into the NBA.
It is honestly incredible. Plenty of the teams play for fantastic causes like Sideline Cancer, Team Challenge ALS and so many others.
This is the eighth iteration of the tournament, and for only the second time ever, the Ohio State alumni team, Carmen’s Crew, will not be participating. They did not play in the first tournament in 2014 either. They won the whole thing in 2019 on the back of David Lighty, Aaron Craft and TBT MVP William Buford.
Even though there is no Carmen’s Crew, there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention and support The Basketball Tournament. From the causes they play for, to the tradition that has been created year after year, to simply watching awesome hoops, TBT has it all.
Last week, we debated the Buckeyes’ toughest non-conference game. Connor said at Duke while Justin said the CBS Sports Classic against North Carolina. It seemed the audience valued the game at Cameron Indoor more, and Connor took the win — extending his lead to four over Justin.
Here are the updated standings after 57 weeks.
After 57 weeks:
(There have been two ties)
Now let’s roll into this week’s topic.
Today’s question: Who do we think we will the “TBT” this season
Connor: The Money Team
Let’s start with the most superficial and “easy to get with” reason — don’t bet against Jimmer Fredette. The Money Team made it to the quarterfinals of TBT last year without one of the most electric scorers in the history of college basketball. They beat Ohio State’s alumni team in front of a sold-out arena of Ohio State fans without one of the clutchest players of the past 20 years. One of the better teams in The Basketball Tournament just added their best player. That’s hard to beat.
The last time Fredette participated in TBT, he averaged 31 points per game. In case you’re new to TBT, let me just remind you that these games don’t typically score up in the 90’s and 100’s. Usually you’ll see scores down in the 70’s and 80’s — more like college. It’s unheard of for someone to average 31 points per game in college, and it’s rarely seen in the NBA, where games are even higher scoring and defense is probably played with less effort and communication. So yeah, Jimmer is going to get his.
But aside from Fredette, this team has several guys who were made for this type of tournament. Players who can create their own shot and make tough shots off the dribble are especially valuable in this tournament. We learned this last summer when Carmen’s Crew had an 18-point lead and wound up losing by two to TMT in front of their home fans. Floyd Mayweather’s squad has some hard-nosed guys who, for lack of a better word, are a real pain in the ass to deal with.
ONE OF THE GREATEST COMEBACKS IN TBT HISTORY!!!!!!— TBT (@thetournament) July 28, 2021
THE MONEY TEAM OVERCOMES AN 18-PT DEFICIT TO STUN CARMEN'S CREW IN COLUMBUS!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/WC1r4pId90
Jeff Ledbetter was a 45% three-point shooter at Idaho in 2011. 5-foot-6 Jordon Crawford was an absolute menace at Bowling Green in the early 2010’s, and has been a great guard in TBT for the last few years. Corey Davis was a star for the Houston Cougars team that beat Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament 2nd round a few years ago, earning all-AAC honors. Davis didn’t play in TBT last year, but he could wind up being one of the best players in this whole tournament.
TMT just has a few guys who are a real headache to guard. Adding Jimmer will put them over the edge.
Justin: Sideline Cancer
For me, this is incredibly simple. I am going to take the team that lost in the regional finals and then added a top 5 player in the entire tournament. And a former NBA player. And somehow, those aren’t the same guy.
Sideline Cancer lost in the regional finals last season to Team 23 and made it all the way to the championship game in 2020, only to lose to the Golden Eagles, the Marquette alumni team. This team is experienced, hungry and with the additions of CJ Miles and Mike Daum, they are the team to beat and are playing as the favorite.
Marcus Keene and Mike Daum are genuinely two of the top players in the tournament. Mo Creek can score on anyone along with CJ Miles, Eric Thompson is a double-double threat every time he steps on the court and Jamal Artis provides a two way punch for head coach Charlie Parker. Not to mention Remy Abell, Shannon Bogues and Nick McGlynn are all double-digit scoring threats.
These guys are the heavy favorites and I think they get the job done this go around.
Which team is more likely to win TBT this season?
This poll is closed
The Money Team (Connor)
Sideline Cancer (Justin)
Whichever team Marc Loving is playing on