I can guarantee you this: Each of the three games of the Big East pod in 2018’s version of The Basketball Tournament will end on a made basket.
On Monday, TBT announced that all 81 games in this year’s summer event will be using The Elam Ending to determine a winner. TBT had success with The Elam Ending in the Jamboree play-in game in the 2017 tournament, and they’ve elected to expand it to the entire tournament this time around.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Elam Ending, it’s quite simple. Instead of a game ending with the clock winding down to zero, the clock gets turned off at the first stoppage with less than four minutes left to go in the game. You take the score of the team with the lead at that point and add seven. That’s now the Target Score, and the first team to get there wins. If one team is up 73-72, the game is now first to 80. If Team B can score eight points before Team A scores seven, they win.
That makes the end of a game look a little bit like this:
The game is required to end with the ball going through the net, which is really just a by-product of the brainchild of Nick Elam, a Ball State professor. The actual goal is to eliminate intentional fouling in the late stages of games. Fouling to hope a team with the lead misses the freebies with the clock stopped and the chance to get the ball back to score quickly is pointless and in fact actually dumb under the Elam Ending rules, as it just hands points to the team with the lead.
The team of Marquette alumni is set to kick off their run in 2018’s TBT on Saturday, June 30th at the McGuire Center on MU’s campus. They’ll be playing the team of St. John’s alumni in the first round, and the winner of that one will advance to Sunday, July 1, for a game against the winner of the game between the alumni from Seton Hall and Georgetown. The SHU/GU game will be the first of the day on the 30th, with tip off set for 2pm, with the MU/SJU game going off at 4pm and/or following the conclusion of the first game. As far as I know, tickets are still available from the Marquette ticket office.