AND DOWN GOES THE CHAMPS!
Behind 23 points from Mike Daum, House of ‘Paign has eliminated Carmen’s Crew, the top seed in The Basketball Tournament and the 2019 TBT champions, after just one game in this year’s tournament. That’s wild. For the second straight year, there will not be a repeat champion in TBT, although it’s not a guarantee that we won’t get a repeat champ.
That’s because #2 seed Overseas Elite gets going today. OE went four straight editions of TBT without a loss racking up four straight titles before falling to — surprise — Carmen’s Crew in last year’s semifinals. There are familiar names on the Overseas Elite roster this year — Paris Horne and Justin Burrell jump out at me — but DeAndre Kane and D.J. Kennedy are not around this year. However, seven time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson is on the roster. That sounds pretty awesome for them, but I have three things to point out to you. #1 is that Joe Johnson last played in the NBA in 2018. #2 is that Joe Johnson is actually older than Travis “I didn’t play in Golden Eagles’ first game” Diener. #3 is that because of his lengthy NBA career, Joe Johnson doesn’t actually meet the qualities of the name “Overseas Elite.” Is that a good thing or a bad thing for the most dominant program in TBT history? I have no idea.
Overseas Elite will be facing off against #15 seed Armored Athlete. They got to this point thanks to a 98-91 win over Power of the Paw in the first round. John Roberson scored a game high 26 points for AA in that one, and Scott Machado added 23 points to give them a very potent tandem. That’s the good news for Armored Athlete. The bad news is that they led by as many as 19 against the Clemson alumni squad before squeaking out that seven point margin at the end of the Elam Ending. Remember: AA had to score a bucket to get to 98 as the final score, so things were a teensy bit closer than that just seconds earlier. They’ll need to go hard from the opening tip of they want to knock Overseas Elite off the board.
The first game of the afternoon will be the Marshall alumni team, Herd That, facing off against #7 seed The Money Team. Now, if you’re wondering about TMT, I will go ahead and confirm it for you: Yes, that’s The Money Team as in boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. He’s not playing, mind you, just operating as a booster. It appears that this used to be Team Fredette, and let me tell you: Going from “named for a BYU legend” to “sponsored by Floyd flipping Mayweather” is a hard left turn to say the least. In any case, TMT brings back a couple of guys from previous incarnations and has made some interesting additions for this year. Can I interest you in Tony Wroten? Kyle Wiltjer? Bryce Alford? Thomas Welsh? Can these guys fuse together to advance to the quarterfinals?
As mentioned, Herd That is on the other end of the court in this game. They picked up an 80-65 win in the first round, knocking off what was technically the #5 seed in the process. Sure, Herd That was the #23 seed, but it was supposed to be Best Virginia, the West Virginia alumni team, as the #5 seed. They got bumped out due to coronavirus test failures, and thus it was Peoria All-Stars in the seed spot instead. Quite clearly, at least one team was not seeded properly in relation to the other one, given the final score. The Elmore boys were the stars of the show in that game, with Jon Elmore putting up a 9/10/8 and older brother Ot Elmore adding 9/2/3 and generally being a hoot to watch. Jacorey Williams actually led them in scoring with 22 points against Peoria All-Stars, and Zach Smith added 10 points. That’s a lot of production from a lot of different guys, and if they can duplicate that kind of distribution as well as their share the ball style — 22 assists! — then that might be just enough to knock off TMT.
The Basketball Tournament 2020
Super 16 Day 4
All games on ESPN, and all times Central.
1pm: #7 The Money Team vs #23 Herd That
3pm: #2 Overseas Elite vs #15 Armored Athlete