BOSTON – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – the winner-take-all, $1 million, summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN networks – today announces the bracket for this year’s tournament.
TBT 2020 will feature more than 35 players with NBA experience, 10 first-round draft picks, 10 college alumni teams and numerous international professionals playing in top leagues across the world. Twenty-four teams will play under quarantine at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio from July 4-14. All teams will undergo multiple levels of testing for COVID-19 before being allowed to play in this year’s TBT, which is in its seventh year. All games will feature the Elam Ending, the end-of-game format made famous during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game that eliminates the game clock after a certain point and features teams playing to a Target Score.
Among TBT’s 10 alumni teams, House of ‘Paign (Illinois), Men of Mackey (Purdue), Stillwater Stars (Oklahoma State) and Herd That (Marshall) are first-year participants. Returning alumni teams include 2019 champion Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State), 2019 runner-up Golden Eagles (Marquette), Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse), Red Scare (Dayton), Best Virginia (West Virginia) and Power of the Paw (Clemson).
"The demand to play in TBT 2020 has been incredible," said TBT Founder/CEO Jon Mugar. "We had over 120 teams apply. If this had been a 64-team tournament, we would have had a hard time selecting the field. With only 24 teams, it was nearly impossible. These 24 teams are absolutely phenomenal, both in terms of talent and organization. It will be an outstanding competition."
The full TBT 2020 schedule is as follows:
- #9 Big X vs. #24 Jackson TN Underdawgs
- #12 Team Brotherly Love vs. #21 Stillwater Stars (Oklahoma State alumni)
- #16 House of ‘Paign (Illinois alumni) vs. #17 War Tampa
- #13 Team CP3 vs. #20 Mid-American Unity
- #11 Team Hines vs. #22 Sideline Cancer
- #14 HEARTFIRE vs. #19 Men of Mackey (Purdue alumni)
- #15 Armored Athlete vs. #18 Power of the Paw (Clemson alumni)
- #10 Best Virginia (West Virginia alumni) vs. #23 Herd That (Marshall alumni)
- #5 Eberlein Drive vs. Team Brotherly Love/Stillwater Stars
- #4 Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni) vs. Team CP3/Mid-American Unity
- #6 Team Challenge ALS vs. Team Hines/Sideline Cancer
- #3 Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse alumni) vs. HEARTFIRE/Men of Mackey
- #8 Red Scare (Dayton alumni) vs. Big X/Jackson TN Underdawgs
- #1 Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State alumni) vs. House of ‘Paign/War Tampa
- #7 The Money Team vs. Best Virginia/Herd That
- #2 Overseas Elite vs. Armored Athlete/Power of the Paw
TBT’s quarterfinals will be held on July 10 and July 11, and the semifinals on July 12. The 2020 TBT Championship Game will be played on July 14, when one player will hit a shot to win his team $1 million. Game times and networks will be announced soon.
Highlights of this year’s tournament include:
- Overseas Elite adds seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson – After suffering its first loss ever in 2019 at the hands of Carmen’s Crew, four-time TBT champion Overseas Elite has reloaded its roster by adding 17-year NBA veteran Joe Johnson to the roster. Johnson joins the team’s core of former St. John’s stars Justin Burrell and D.J. Kennedy, as well as former NBA guards Bobby Brown and Pooh Jeter.
- Aaron Craft and Travis Diener’s Last Dance? – Once this year’s TBT is over, legendary Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft will be trading in his jersey for a white coat. A member of TBT’s All-Tournament team in 2019 and a four-year member of Carmen’s Crew, Craft is retiring from professional basketball to enter medical school, potentially making this year’s TBT his last. Same goes for 38-year-old Marquette sharpshooter Travis Diener, who could be looking at retirement after one final run with the Golden Eagles.
- Dayton Seniors Make TBT their March Madness – After missing out on this year’s NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19, two members of this year’s nationally ranked Dayton Flyers team, Ryan Mikesell and Trey Landers, will be joining Red Scare, Dayton’s alumni team. Those two will join forces with three members from Dayton’s 2014 Elite Eight roster – Devin Oliver, Dyshawn Pierre and Kyle Davis.
- Boeheim’s Army’s Best Roster Yet – In its six-year history in TBT, the Syracuse alumni team has certainly put its best foot forward in 2020. The roster includes six players with NBA experience, including four first-round picks: Donté Greene (2008), Chris McCullough (2015), Malachi Richardson (2016) and Tyler Lydon (2017).
- Perfecting the Elam Ending – First introduced to the basketball world during TBT’s play-in round in 2017, the “Elam Ending” – created by Ball State professor Dr. Nick Elam and used in this year’s NBA All-Star Game – is designed to eliminate deliberate fouling at the end of games. In hopes of perfecting the Elam Ending after watching Anthony Davis win the All-Star Game for Team LeBron at the free-throw line, non-shooting bonus fouls in TBT will now result in one shot plus the ball instead of two free throws. The Target Score will remain at eight points added to the leading team’s score.
- Star-Studded Staffs – Legendary former Valparaiso head coach and College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Homer Drew will make his TBT coaching debut with HEARTFIRE, a team partially made up of former Baylor players coached by his son, Scott Drew. Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner will return to the bench for Carmen’s Crew after guiding the team to a TBT championship last summer. Former NBA point guard Darren Collison will also guide Team Challenge ALS. Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul enters Team CP3 for the second straight summer, and legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather brings The Money Team (TMT) to TBT for the first time.
- Health & Safety – Competitors and staff in this year’s TBT will undergo a minimum of three COVID-19 tests before being cleared for competition. Any team member who tests positive for COVID-19 at any point will be removed. After teams begin practicing, a positive test not only will result in that player being removed, but also that individual’s team being removed. Players will be monitored all throughout for symptoms, including daily temperature checks.
- Free Throws…
- Isaiah Austin, a former Baylor center and NBA prospect whose career nearly ended because of Marfan Syndrome, will play for HEARTFIRE alongside fellow Baylor Bear and former first-round pick Quincy Miller. Both Austin and Miller teamed up on DeMarcus Cousins’ Loyalty is Love in TBT 2019.
- In the case of a positive test that results in the elimination of an entire team, TBT will have two standby teams in quarantine. D2, a group of prominent former D-II players, and Playing for Jimmy V, a second-year participant partnered with The V Foundation will serve as those teams. Both D2 and Playing for Jimmy V will be subject to the same protocols as the rest of the teams in the field.
TBT is a single-elimination, 5-on-5 tournament, with a winner-take-all prize of $1 million. Fans also are rewarded, as all the registered supporters of the championship winning team will split $50,000.
For more information on this year’s TBT or to register to become a fan, please visit thetournament.com.