The South Region has their two quarterfinalists: #1 seed Overseas Elite and #2 seed Ram Nation. The VCU boys made their way past Team DRC on Thursday night relatively easily, picking up a 78-65 victory. Brandon Rozzell and Reggie Williams both scored 16 points for Ram Nation, with Williams tallying all of his points in the second half. Overseas Elite was a different story. Even though the defending three-time champs had a 13 point lead at the end of the first quarter, and even though that lead was still 11 at the start of the fourth, the Elam Ending ended up tense. OE was up six when the clock was shut off, but a series of miscues let Louisiana United back into the game, leading to a tie at 86 apiece. It looked like LU was about to pull off a game winning steal and runout for a layup, but the refs said the strip was actually a foul. That gave Jeremy Pargo a chance to hit a free throw, and that was that, giving Overseas Elite their 22nd straight TBT win.
That was the South, and today our attention turns to the Midwest Region. In the first game at Georgia State tonight, we get #2 Team Fredette vs #6 Fort Wayne Champs. Team Fredette has, of course, reached this point of the tournament on the back of team namesake Jimmer Fredette. He tallied 32 and 30 points in his team’s first two outings, although the BYU grad has yet to find his touch from outside. Fredette has shot just 4-of 14 from long range in this tournament after a 1-for-9 performance in their 99-89 victory over Jackson TN Underdawgs in the second round. They’ve also had a pair of relatively close games, posting margins of victory of just eight and 10 points.
10 points is the smaller margin of victory for Fort Wayne Champs in their two games, beating The Region 93-82 in the first round and then running away from Illinois BC, 84-66, in the second. The core of FWC is guys who have played for the Fort Wayne Mad Antz in the G-League, with Steph Hicks leading the way so far in this year’s TBT. He had 29 points in the first round along with 15 in the second. Julian Mavunga and Trey McKinney Jones have provided pop as well, and the depth on FWC seems to be pretty well populated.
The second game features #1 Scarlet & Gray vs #12 Primetime Players. Sadly, this does not mean that Darren Young and Titus O’Neil will be at the game. As the #12 seed, Primetime Players upset #5 Always A Brave, the Bradley alumni, and #4 Big X on their way to the Super 16. Chris Moore and Terell Smith have been the big scorers for the PTPers in their first two games as they rallied from 18 down in the first round and fended off five chances by AAB to reach the Target Score. Smith hit the game-winning three in the second round, one of his nine makes from long range in the game. Scarlet & Gray is the Ohio State alumni team, and they needed a big fourth quarter in their second round game to escape Matadors, the Texas Tech alumni team. Jared Sullinger tallied 28 points and 20 rebounds in that game to help propels S&G to the win after posting a 20&6 in the first round. Scarlet & Gray is stacked with names you recognize from the Thad Matta Era of OSU hoops, giving them a lot of depth to rely on, even if Greg Oden isn’t playing as (somewhat) promised.
Today’s Schedule (all times Central)
6pm: #2 Team Fredette vs #6 Fort Wayne Champs (ESPN2)
8pm: #1 Scarlet & Gray vs #12 Primetime Players (ESPN)