Carmen's Crew Stunned by House of 'Paign in TBT Opener

Adam Prescott

COLUMBUS, Ohio – One and done.

Defending champion Carmen’s Crew was dealt a disappointing loss to begin its title defense in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) at Nationwide Arena, suffering a tough 76-68 loss to House of ‘Paign Wednesday afternoon.

House of ‘Paign, seeded No. 16 in the bracket and comprised mostly of Illinois alums, advances to the quarterfinals of the 24-team winner-take-all event. They will take on Red Scare (Dayton alumni) come Friday.

The Ohio State alumni group, which won the entire 64-team showdown last summer, was making its fourth TBT appearance and unfortunately loses its opener for the first time. Carmen's Crew was 11 of 30 from behind the arc and led for just 10:41 of game time.

Both sides traded buckets early before Carmen’s Crew entered a slight lull, as House of Paign held a 19-15 lead after the first quarter and then exploded to begin the second. They opened the frame on a 12-4 run over the initial four minutes, grabbing a 31-20 lead and forcing Jared Sullinger to call a timeout.

Carmen’s Crew quickly regrouped with a blitzing 17-4 run, getting eight-straight points initially out of the break and eventually regaining a 37-35 lead. Jon Diebler and Demetri McCamey combined for five three-pointers in the spurt while House of 'Paign’s only scoring occurred on a four-point play.

The former Buckeyes ended up taking a 44-39 lead into halftime.

“Shots finally started going down,” Sullinger told ESPN’s Jen Hale at the break. “We were just missing, but we aren’t mad about. We jut have to keep playing defense and let that dictate our offense. Guys really found their groove in the second quarter.”

Carmen’s Crew quickly ran the lead to nine points (50-41) early in the third quarter and seemed ready to pull away, but House of ‘Paign had other ideas by responding with a 9-0 run to draw even. Aaron Craft suffered a hand injury diving for a loose ball in the period but ended up returning shortly thereafter.

The showdown remained a 1-2 possession game all the way through the fourth quarter and into the Elam Ending, where House of ‘Paign found themselves up 68-64 following a trifecta from big man Mike Daum.

Lauderdale opened the culminating stretch with another dunk and Carmen’s Crew only trailed 72-68 in a race to the “target score” of 76...

House of ‘Paign, making its TBT debut this summer, promptly responded with a pair of buckets from Kyle Vinales to solidify the upset and record a second-consecutive win. They blew out War Tampa in their opener this past weekend.

“I’m sure we are all planning on coming back again, but we will play it by ear,” Diebler said when asked about the future of the team. “We all live in Columbus and love playing together, so it will be easy if we want to get back into it. We’re all competitors and love this event. TBT does a great job.”

Daum, a former standout at South Dakota State, led all scorers with 23 points while David Lighty spearheaded Carmen’s Crew with 21 himself. Reigning MVP William Buford, and newcomer DeShaun Thomas, combined for just seven points on 2-of-14 shooting.

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