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Breaking Down The Basketball Tournament

The famed The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is back for its sixth season, but this time it will look slightly different. The tournament will begin July 4th and take place in Columbus, Ohio. It will span ten days and will see teams quarantined for the duration to eliminate the possible spread of COVID-19. If any player does test positive, that team is eliminated, which already happened to Best Virginia, a team of West Virginia alumni.

There are some familiar faces in this 24-team tournament, but if you are not a college basketball fan, there may be some newbies. Here is a quick look at each team in the tournament by seed, highlighting key players.

Breaking Down The Basketball Tournament

Number 1 – Carmen’s Crew

The defending champs and Ohio State alumni return as the number one seed. The most notable team member is Jared Sullinger, the General Manager and Head Coach. Sullinger will look to his three studs to carry this team for the fourth year in a row. Aaron Craft, William Buford, and David Lighty can score and cause nightmares defensively. Buford is the reigning MVP and Lighty had some huge scoring performances. Craft is well known for his effort and ability to run a team which is very important in a tournament like this. They will be tough to beat.

Number 2 – Overseas Elite

This group of overseas stars won four straight titles before suffering their first loss to Carmen’s Crew last year. This is undoubtedly the most talented team in the entire tournament with two major additions to an already tough group. Joe Johnson will participate in TBT for the first time this year, along with Jarrett Jack. Johnson immediately becomes the best player in the tournament, a title teammate D.J. Kennedy held in past years. Joining those three are DeAndre Kane from Iowa State, Justin Burrell from St. John’s, and Glen Rice Jr. from Michigan. It will be hard to figure out who will be on the bench with this roster.

Number 3 – Boeheim’s Army

This group of Syracuse alumni has been talented in years past, but have not had the success that their roster suggests they should have. This year, they add Tyler Lydon and Malachi Richardson to a talented group of overseas pros. Joining these two NBA players are Eric Devendorf, John Gillon, Brandon Triche, and Chris McCullough. They are in a tier just below the previous two teams mentioned, but still very talented.

Number 4 – Golden Eagles

This group of Marquette alumni surprised many last year when they made a deep run but ultimately fell short of their first title. This team is led by Jamil Wilson and Travis Diener. They also get major contributions from Darius Johnson-Odom, Elgin Cook, and Dwight Buycks. As with all Marquette teams, scoring is never an issue.

Number 5 – Eberlein Drive

This team was started as a group of friends that grew up in Michigan. There is plenty of NBA talent on this team, but no one that had much success. Johnny O’Bryant and Dusty Hannahs are most notable. They are surrounded by JP Macura, Josh Magette, and Emmitt Williams. While this group lacks the overall talent of other top teams, their effort and toughness will make them a tough team to beat.

Number 6 – Challenge ALS

Most people will not remember many of these players, but they should remember Darren Collison who will be coaching. Challenge ALS is full of overseas stars, most notably Casper Ware from Long Beach State and Tyrese Rice from Boston College.

Number 7 – The Money Team

The Money Team is sponsored by Floyd Mayweather and will score on pace with his net worth. This group is led by Tony Wroten, Willie Reed, and Wade Baldwin. Adding to that trio is Bryce Alford from UCLA, Nick Johnson from Arizona, Peyton Aldridge from Davidson, and Kyle Wiltjer from Gonzaga. When The Money Team plays, the threes will be flying and points will come in bunches. This is a major sleeper. If they can find a way past Overseas Elite they can win the whole thing.

Number 8 – Red Scare

The Red Scare is mainly Dayton alumni. This team will be led by Trey Landers, Kyle Davis, and Darrell Davis. They will also see the addition of Trevor Thompson from Ohio State and Ryan McMahon from Louisville. Usually, this group is aided by the home crowd, but without fans in attendance, they will lose that bonus.

Number 9 – Big X

Big X is made up of former Big Ten hoopers. The most notable players on this team are Jae’Sean Tate, Nick Ward, and CJ Jackson. Possibly the most notable player is Andrew Dakich who will be the General Manager and is the son of ESPN announcer Dan Dakich.

Number 10 – Jimmy V

This team was a late add, in place of Best Virginia, so the roster is still coming together. We do know they will be led by Josh Perkins from Gonzaga. Joining him are Bashir Ahmed from St. John’s and Devin Cannady from Princeton.

Number 11 – Team Hines

Team Hines is another squad led by many Euroleague players, most notably, Nick Calathes. They also add Ethan Happ from Wisconsin, Alec Peters from Valparaiso, and Gilbert Brown from Pittsburgh.

Number 12 – Team Brotherly Love

This is going to be the most underrated team in the tournament. Team Brotherly Love has no big names but plays together very well. This group of Philadelphia players was led by Novar Gadson (Rider) and Samme Givens (Drexel) while they made a run through their region last season.

Number 13 – Team CP3

Team CP3 is named for their leader, Chris Paul. Most of these players were part of the Team CP3 AAU program or are from North Carolina. Included in this notable group are Nate Mason (Minnesota), Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina), and Dez Wells (Maryland). Most of these guys have played together before so they could be dangerous.

Number 14 – Team Heartfire

Heartfire is led by Isaiah Austin, former Baylor Bear that had his NBA career derailed by Marfan syndrome. Joining him is Quincy Miller from Baylor, Kristian Doolittle from Oklahoma, and Branden Dawson from Michigan State. There is so much length on this team that they can be very dangerous.

Number 15 – Armored Athlete

This is another team full of lesser-known, short NBA stint guys, such as Dominique Jones and Courtney Fortson. They also have Cady Lalanne, Matt Mobley, and Scott Machado who all saw plenty of success at the mid-major level in college.

Number 16 – House of ‘Paign

This crew is made up of Illinois alumni as well as some other non-Illinois stars. The Illini members include Malcolm Hill and Andres Feliz. However, Mike Daum from South Dakota State and Matt Mooney from Texas Tech add much more talent to this roster. Watching the Dauminator in TBT will be fun.

Number 17 – War Tampa

This is one of the most intriguing teams in the tournament. They do not have a ton of experience, but Bryce Brown and Horace Spencer from Auburn, combined with Fletcher Magee from Wofford and Scottie James from Liberty are well known. Brown and Magee on the court together may light some nets on fire. If they get hot, everyone is in danger. They face a tough House of ‘Paign group in round one that is a bad matchup for them so they better be hot early.

Number 18 – Power of the Paw

The Clemson alumni group is led by Donte Grantham. This team will look like an actual college team with Gabe DeVoe, Tevin Mack, Marcquise Reed, and Elijah Thomas all joining the fray after playing for the Tigers in the last few years.

Number 19 – Men of Mackey

This is another team resembling a college roster. The Men of Mackey are Purdue alumni and are led by Ryan Cline and Isaac Haas. There is not much talent on this roster so they will need to make some more phone calls before tip-off and try to add some depth.

Number 20 – Mid-American Unity

Mid-American Unity is named after its roots, the Mid-American Conference. This team is barely recognizable except for one major piece: Romeo Travis. Travis was LeBron James’ high school teammate and has been filling up stat sheets all across the globe since.

Number 21 – Stillwater Stars

The Stillwater Stars are an Oklahoma State alumni group. They have some NBA talent with Markel Brown. Phil Forte, Le’Bryan Nash, Tyshawn Taylor, and James Banks will join Brown. This is another intriguing group with enough talent to win a few games.

Number 22 – Sideline Cancer

Sideline Cancer is led by Jamel Artis from Pittsburgh. They also have Diamond Stone from Maryland, Maurice Creek from Indiana, and Marcus Keene from Central Michigan. This is another team that will be a tough out but they face an experienced Team Hines in round one.

Number 23 – Herd That

Herd That is a group of alumni from Marshall. They are led by Jon Elmore and will be able to score plenty as the jumpers will be flying. An interesting piece here is Zach Smith, the highflyer from Texas Tech. They get Jimmy V in round one and have a chance for an upset.

Number 24 – Jackson TN Underdawgs

This team is led by the best scorer in the tournament every year, Jaylen Barford. He scored 24 points per game last year and led his group of “underdawgs” to a quarterfinals berth. Unfortunately, beyond Barford, they have almost no help.

The Championship Game

Carmen’s Crew appears to be a lock for the final. They have a relatively easy path and an experienced and talented roster.

Overseas Elite will have a tough task in knocking off The Money Team and Boeheim’s Army to get to the championship, but no one is as talented as they are, so they should find a way to win.

This will pit the top two teams in the tournament against each other for a winner-take-all one million dollar final on July 14th. Overseas Elite will take back their crown and start their next streak of championships.

It is worth noting that rosters are not finalized and there are usually several late additions and subtractions so a lot can change.

Basketball is back in our lives starting July 4th. Between the Elam Ending and seeing familiar college basketball stars, The Basketball Tournament is an incredible event that should garner plenty of eyeballs this year. Good luck and good health to all involved.

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