Who’s ready for another day of The Basketball Tournament?!
We all quite enjoyed the Marquette alumni picking up the win in the only game on Monday, but we’ve got three more days of Super 16 round games to go before they play again! Each day will have two games going on, and I have to say: It’s weird that Marquette got the prime time television spot on ESPN, but everyone else has to play in the middle of the day. There’s boxing on tonight and on Thursday, and MLS games on Wednesday, for what it’s worth. Oh well, when ESPN gives you four hours of time to put something on, you don’t really argue, I guess.
Where were we?
Oh, right, talking about today’s games.
The first game of the day means that someone’s charity dreams will be destroyed. It’s Team Challenge ALS vs Sideline Cancer. This is the first game of the tournament for #6 seed Challenge ALS, and they’ll be led on the floor by general manager Sean Marshall. He was a double digit scorer at Boston College, and was a two-year teammate of TBT teammate Tyrese Rice, who also filled it up on the regular. Both guys were quality shooters in their college days, so they’ll be the guiding lights on offense for Challenge ALS. Malcolm Thomas averaged 11.2 points and 7.9 rebounds in two seasons at San Diego State, so he should be able to contribute as a big man.
On the other end of the court is #22 seed Sideline Cancer, the only squad to appear in all seven editions of TBT. That’s wild. They had to play a first round game to get here, though, and they knocked off #11 seed Team Hines, 93-91, thanks to this Elam Ender from former Central Michigan star Marcus Keene.
That gave Keene 29 points on the night on 12-for-22 shooting, and in his free time, he grabbed six rebounds (remember, he’s just 5’9”) and dished six assists, too. Not a bad outing. The other big names on the squad all chipped in with solid performances as well. Diamond Stone had 19 points and six rebounds, Maurice Creek went for 13/4/2, and Remy Abell contributed 17&3. If Keene is going to light it up like that again, those three guys just need to do what they do, and Sideline Cancer is going to put up one hell of a fight to get to the quarterfinals.
Game #2 on the afternoon has two alumni teams squaring off. It’s Syracuse vs Purdue as #3 Boeheim’s Army tangles with #19 Men of Mackey. It’s the first game of TBT this year for the Syracuse guys, and they will presumably be led by Eric Devendorf. He’s the biggest name that jumps off their roster page, with Brandon Triche running in second place in that regard. Donte Green is a big man that can shoot it and a former NBA Draft first round pick that played 253 career games with the Kings, and I feel like I’ve literally never heard of him. That’s weird. John Gillon only played one year at Syracuse, but he’ll be one of the younger guys on this roster and can distribute it pretty well. The downside to having a Syracuse team in this event is that they’re probably going to play zone defense and that will be horrible to watch.
The Purdue guys are here by way of a 85-79 win over #14 seed Heartfire in the first round. MoM ripped off a 12-0 run in the Elam Ending to secure the win, which is a very impressive comeback in the untimed session. Justin Dentmon may have played for four years at Washington, but he’s a big reason why the Purdue squad is in this game. He had five of those 12 Elam Ending points to give himself 32 on the night. Isaac Haas was the only other MoM guy in double digits, but the big man added 11 points and 10 rebounds to the cause. They put together a lot of quality supporting performances around those two guys to add up to a win, and they’ll need to do the same thing again today if they want to get to the quarterfinals.
The Basketball Tournament 2020
Both games on ESPN, all times Central.
1pm: #6 Team Challenge ALS vs #22 Sideline Cancer
3pm: #3 Boeheim’s Army vs #19 Men of Mackey