FINALLY, after a soft start at the Spokane Hoopfest and in Milwaukee at the McGuire Center AND after last night’s play-in games, The Basketball Tournament starts in earnest today with first round action in the South and West regions. We’ve got eight games between 8am Central and 11pm Central in the South Region, broadcasting via WatchESPN from the Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Over in the West region, we’ve got six games thanks to two of the first round games being played at the Spokane Hoopfest at the start of the month. Those will start overlapping with the South games at 1pm Central and will take us all the way through to midnight. That’s a nice solid 16 straight hours of basketball, and you can’t beat that.
The headline game in the South region, and really the headline game of the day overall, is scheduled to tip off at 5:10pm Central. Three-time defending champions Overseas Elite starts their run to another $2 million prize, and any time anyone puts a 19 game winning streak on the line, that’s the most important thing going on. The noisiest game of the day will likely come when #2 seed Ram Nation takes the court in their first round game. After all, Ram Nation is made up of VCU alumni, and the Rams faithful will no doubt be out in force to support their guys. We’ll get a game between two sets of alumni when Monarch Nation (Old Dominion alums) and Hilltops Dawgs (UMBC alums) clash in a mid-afternoon contest.
Over in the West region, the game to keep an eye on at California State University in Los Angeles is Team Challenge ALS’s opener. They fell to Overseas Elite in the title game last year, and their path back to another crack at the $2 million begins here. UCLA’s alumni team, led by none other than Matt Barnes , squares off against a squad of guys who excelled at the Division 3 level of college hoops. The Team 23/CitiTeam Blazers game ought to be a pretty solid matchup, pitting a squad that reached the 2015 semifinals against a team of guys who know each other from the Drew League in Los Angeles.
Here’s the schedule for the day, split up into South and West regions. All times Central, and all games streamed on WatchESPN.
TBT 2018 South Region First Round
|8:00 AM||#4 Louisiana United vs #13 ATL All-Stars|
|9:50 AM||#6 Team DRC vs #11 NC Prodigal Sons|
|11:40 AM||#5 Wake The Nation vs #12 Showtime|
|1:30 PM||#3 Memphis State vs #14 Brooklyn Vultures|
|3:20 PM||#8 Monarch Nation vs #9 Hilltop Dawgs|
|5:10 PM||#1 Overseas Elite vs #17 ABC2|
|7:00 PM||#2 Ram Nation vs #15 Tampa 20/20|
|8:50 PM||#7 Atlanta Dirty South vs #10 Purple & Black|
2018 TBT West Region First Round
|1:00 PM||#2 Team Colorado vs #15 Kimchi Express|
|2:50 PM||#7 Eberlein Drive vs #10 Broad Street Brawlers|
|4:40 PM||#1 Team Challenge ALS vs #17 Fort Hood Wounded Warriors|
|6:30 PM||#8 Team 23 vs #9 CitiTeam Blazers|
|8:20 PM||#4 Sons of Westwood vs #13 D3|
|10:10 PM||#5 Forks Up vs #12 Albuquerque Hoops|