THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 2017
We’re down to eight remaining teams in this year’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, and by the end of business on Sunday, we’ll be down to just four. The four remaining teams will reconvene in Baltimore on August 1st, a bit over a week from now, and they will settle who gets the $2 million winner-take-all prize.
But I’m getting ahead of things. First things first. Here’s the schedule for Sunday’s quadrupleheader from Brooklyn, with all times Central, of course.
11am: #1 Golden Eagles vs #2 Scarlet & Gray (ESPN)
1pm: #3 Boeheim’s Army vs #4 Team F.O.E. (ESPN)
3pm: #4 Armored Athlete vs #6 Challenge ALS (ESPN 2)
5pm: #1 Overseas Elite vs #2 Ram Nation (ESPN 2)
As you can see, the only remaining #1 seeds are the two-time defending champion Overseas Elite and YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles alumni team. We’re already guaranteed to get a new matchup in the title game, as Team Colorado went down in defeat to Armored Athlete on Saturday.
We got an upset in the other West region Super 16 game on Saturday, as Challenge ALS dumped #2 seeded Few Good Men, the Gonzaga alumni team. Wisconsin native Jerry Smith went for a game high 23 points to lead his team to victory. Challenge ALS ultimately led by as many as 25 late in that game before wrapping things up with the 17 point margin.
It may be a little unfair that the Midwest region championship game is the first of the day, considering both of those teams played on Saturday, and maybe even more so since Scarlet & Gray’s win over Always A Brave was played before Golden Eagles tipped off against Purple & Black. Perhaps even more especially so since the Northeast Region teams, Boeheim’s Army and Team F.O.E., have been just hanging out in New York since their most recently played games took place back on Thursday. On the flipside, you can look at it like ESPN wanted to make sure that Marquette got the spot on the primary channel to make sure they get the biggest ratings draw.
While MU might bring in the viewers like no other, the biggest story of the day is clearly in the final game of the day. The question remains: Who can beat Overseas Elite? They’re the two-time defending TBT champions and they’ve never lost a game in the tournament. OE got to this point by knocking off Tampa Bulls in the Super 16, with the eight point margin of victory going down as their smallest margin of victory in this year’s tournament, right behind their 10 point opening win and their 9 point second round win. Are they doing just enough to win or are they ready for an upset? I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the VCU alumni squad can hand the Elite a loss.....