WELL. Things certainly got interesting in The Basketball Tournament on Thursday. With just six games in two regions being played, we still saw the exits of two better seeded alumni teams. First it was Wichita #3 seed Self Made, the Kansas squad, getting just absolutely pummeled by #6 seed Sideline Cancer, 87-63. Then, shortly thereafter, we saw Salt Lake City #4 seed Sons of Westwood, the UCLA team, eliminated by #5 LA Cheaters on this putback dunk:
That post-dunk hang should be worth an extra point. It doesn’t change the outcome of the game, obviously, but it was that great.
Today we get the regional semifinals in Salt Lake City, the other half of the first round in Wichita, and the full first round set of games in both Syracuse and Richmond. That gives us 12 games to watch today, with streaming broadcasts on ESPN3 running from noon Central time to right about midnight. That’s not terrible. Oh, there is one exception to the streaming: The Syracuse alumni team game. They get a spot on ESPN2 tonight. Write your own derisive joke about this if you want, but I presume ESPN knows what kind of numbers the Orange draw.
Today’s schedule also features the first game of TBT for Golden Eagles, the Marquette alumni team. Instead of making this viewing guide extra long, there’s already a game-specific preview up on our site right here. Go check that out.
The Richmond regional is fascinating to me, as all but two teams are alumni squads. On top of that, TBT’s braintrust went ahead and made the most obvious pairing in the world when it was offered to them: #1 seed and four time defending champion Overseas Elite vs #8 seed Hilltop Dawgs, the UMBC alumni team. I mean, how do you not throw together the undefeated TBT machine and the basketball magic of the first #16 seed to beat a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament?
Elsewhere in Richmond, we get a West Virginia vs Old Dominion battle and a George Mason vs Richmond contest. That WVU team, Best Virginia, is no joke: Joe Alexander, Truck Bryant, Da`Sean Butler, and noted non-2012 Big East Player of the Year Kevin Jones are amongst the former ‘Eers on the roster. Ram Nation, the VCU alumni team faces off against DRC as the home team in Richmond, as the region is being played in their home gym.
Up in Syracuse, the feature attraction is the Orange’s alumni team, of course. However, I’m interested in the Iona alumni team, Gael Force. They’re not favored to win by seeding, slotted as the #5 against #4 Team Fancy, featuring Kenny Boynton, D`Angelo Harrison, and Greg Whittington, but I have a warm spot in my heart for Iona basketball for whatever reason.
All times Central
TBT Day 5 Schedule
|12:00 PM||#3 Brotherly Love vs #6 Jimmy V||Syracuse, NY||ESPN3|
|2:00 PM||#2 Armored Athlete vs #7 Team Draddy||Syracuse, NY||ESPN3|
|#4 Best Virginia vs #5 Seven City Royalty||Richmond, VA||ESPN3|
|3:50 PM||#1 Overseas Elite vs #8 Hilltop Dawgs||Richmond, VA||ESPN3|
|4:00 PM||#4 Team Fancy vs #5 Gael Nation||Syracuse, NY||ESPN3|
|5:40 PM||#3 Green Machine vs #6 The Web||Richmond, VA||ESPN3|
|6:00 PM||#1 Golden Eagles vs #8 Ft. Hood Wounded Warriors||Wichita, KS||ESPN3|
|#1 Boeheim's Army vs #8 We Are D3||Syracuse, NY||ESPN2|
|7:30 PM||#2 Ram Nation vs #7 DRC||Richmond, VA||ESPN3|
|8:00 PM||#4 Team Colorado vs #5 Purple & Black||Wichita, KS||ESPN3|
|#1 Eberlein Drivs vs #5 LA Cheaters||Salt Lake City, UT||ESPN3|
|10:00 PM||#2 Challenge ALS vs #3 Team Fredette||Salt Lake City, UT||ESPN3|