The Basketball Tournament continues to raise the stakes, now in its third season as the premier (and only) wide-open, full-scale winner-take-all competition around.
Tournament organizers announced Tuesday that the 2016 tourney’s grand prize will be $2 million, doubling the pot from last season, and 10% of the earnings going to fans of the winning team. Social media presence will again determine bids for the field, which returns to its original 64 teams from last season’s 97.
“Doubling the prize to $2 million and allowing the winning team’s fans to share 10% of that is a massive step towards our goal of empowering sports fans,” said Jon Mugar, TBT’s founder and CEO. “The interest and support we’ve received from all areas of the basketball world has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to see what communities of teams form over the next several months.”
With the changes, it’s reasonable to expect the quality of play to take another step forward. The tourney culls from every corner of the basketball landscape, with last year’s champions, Overseas Elite, starring former McDonald’s All-American Myck Kabongo, EuroLeague guard Errick McCollum (older brother of C.J.) and Nigerian national team center Shane Lawal, among others.
Regional rounds will take place in Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, with the Super 16 in Philadelphia and the semifinals and finals again in New York City, with things wrapping up at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gymnasium on Aug. 2. ESPN will televise the semis and finals for the second straight year.