The Basketball Tournament Announces Bracket and Locations for 2019
17 Jul, 2019
The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – the $2 million, summer basketball event televised live on ESPN networks – announced the bracket for this year’s tournament.
In its sixth year, TBT 2019 will feature more than 60 players with NBA experience, 24 college alumni teams and international professionals playing in top league across the world. More than 20 Division I college players who finished their eligibility in 2019 – including Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, women’s college basketball player of the year – will compete in this year’s tournament.
Sixty-four teams will be split into eight Regionals to be played over the final two weekends in July. The winner of each Regional will advance to Championship Week in Chicago, Aug. 1-6, where the event will culminate with a winner-take-all game for $2 million.
“Each year, we get more and more requests from outstanding players and teams to play in TBT,” said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT. “Out of our 64-team field, I think there are 64 teams that believe they’re going to win six games and take home $2 million. It’s by far the deepest and most competitive field we’ve ever put together. Every second of every game will be intense.”
The full TBT 2019 schedule includes:
- Columbus, hosted by Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni) – July 19-21
- Greensboro, hosted by Team CP3 (Chris Paul’s team) – July 19-21
- Lexington, hosted by Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky Alumni) – July 19-21
- Memphis, hosted by Memphis State (Memphis Alumni) – July 19-21
- Salt Lake City, hosted by Team Fredette (Jimmer Fredette’s team) – July 25-27
- Wichita, hosted by AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni) – July 25-28
- Richmond, hosted by Ram Nation (VCU Alumni) – July 26-28
- Syracuse, hosted by Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni) – July 26-28
Championship Week in Chicago at Wintrust Arena
- Quarterfinals Day 1 – Thursday, Aug. 1, 7p EDT & 9p EDT
- Quarterfinals Day 2 – Friday, Aug. 2, 7p EDT & 9p EDT
- Semifinals – Sunday, Aug. 4, 12p EDT & 2p EDT
- $2 Million, Winner-Take-All Championship – Tuesday, Aug. 6, 9p EDT
*Game times subject to change
TBT is a single-elimination, 5-on-5 tournament, with a winner-take-all prize of $2 million. Fans also are rewarded, as the top 1,000 fans of the winning team share $200,000. New this year, each of the eight Regional champions will earn a prize equal to 25 percent of that Region’s ticket sales. The Wichita Regional prize purse alone is already over $50,000.
Highlights of this year’s tournament include:
- Overseas Elite– The four-time defending TBT champ has put together one of the most impressive streaks in sports, going 25-0 over the past four years, winning $7 million in the process.
- NCAA Tournament Flavor – A handful of teams that have made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament are shooting for $2 million. Kohl Blooded includes members from Wisconsin’s 2015 national runner-up team. Ram Nation, with alums from VCU’s 2011 Final Four team, is back for the fourth straight year. Green Machine features several members from George Mason’s 2006 Final Four team. Best Virginia has members from West Virginia’s 2010 Final Four team. Red Scare will rekindle memories of Dayton’s run to the Elite Eight in 2014. And the Hilltop Dawgs welcome several players who helped UMBC become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 by beating Virginia in 2018.
- NBA and NFL Ties – TBT’s growth has attracted the attention of professional athletes who want to be involved. Chris Paul, star guard for the Houston Rockets, and DeMarcus Cousins, star forward for the Golden State Warriors, are serving as General Managers for TBT teams. Coaches include Pistons center Andre Drummond, Pacers guard Darren Collison, Hornets guard Shelvin Mack and Wizards big man Bobby Portis. Suns guard Jimmer Fredette is an assistant coach. NFL stars Vic Beasley (Atlanta Falcons) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Washington Redskins) are sponsors of TBT teams.
- She’s the One – Megan Gustafson, college basketball’s 2019 National Player of the Year, will play for the Iowa United. While there have been other women to play in TBT, the former Iowa standout is the first active women’s professional player to play.
- Which Team Will Win Wichita? – The Wichita Regional is loaded. The top-seeded Golden Eagles (Marquette Alumni), led by Jamil Wilson and Travis Diener, lost to Overseas Elite in last year’s semifinals. The host AfterShocks, featuring Toure’ Murry, Tekele Cotton and Joe Ragland, will have a huge crowd on their side. Self Made (Kansas Alumni) has some of the best Jayhawks from the Bill Self era, including 2008 national champions Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson. Team Colorado (Colorado Alumni) was the runner up to Overseas Elite in 2016. And Purple & Black (Kansas State Alumni) boasts Akeem Wright, Curtis Kelly and Thomas Gipson...and more stars could be coming.
- The Elam Ending –TBT once again will use the Elam Ending. First implemented during TBT’s play-in round in 2017 and used throughout TBT 2018, the “Elam Ending” – created by Mensa member and basketball superfan Dr. Nick Elam – is designed to eliminate deliberate fouling at the end of games. It ensures the final minutes are played at the same pace and flow as the rest of the game and guarantees every game ends on a made basket. Under the rule, at the first dead ball after the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter, the game clock shuts off. A Target Score is set by adding eight (8) to the leading team’s score. The first team to reach the Target Score wins.
- Joey Gruden, son of Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden, is a former walk-on at Dayton and is one of the organizers of Red Scare.
- Doug Gottlieb, a radio personality and former hoops player at Oklahoma State, will be the coach of Team 23.
- Team Challenge ALS, started by former Boston College star Sean Marshall to honor his college roommate Pete Frates (who made the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge famous), returns. Of note, D.J. Strawberry, son of Darryl Strawberry, will be on the team.
- Isaiah Austin, a former Baylor center and NBA prospect whose career nearly ended because of Marfan Syndrome, will play for Loyalty is Love, which is led by DeMarcus Cousins.