Ex-Buckeyes to Begin Title Defense on Ohio State Campus

Bruce Hooley

Ohio State won't let some of its most-beloved former basketball players claim anything close to the name they helped make famous, but it has no problem packing the newest facility on campus to make some additional revenue off them.

Carmen's Crew, the team of former OSU players that won The Basketball Tournament and its $2 million winner-take-all prize last summer, will begin defense of its title in July at the Covelli Center on the Ohio State campus.

The $50-million Covelli Center opened in June of 2019 and is located just south of Ackerman Road, adjacent to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and Jesse Owens Stadium.

It is the home of seven OSU varsity sports, most notably wrestling and volleyball, and will seat close to 6,000 for the TBTF's Columbus Regional, formerly played at Capital University.

Carmen's Crew includes former Buckeyes Aaron Craft, William Buford, John Diebler, Lenzelle Smith, Evan Ravenel and David Lighty.

It's coached by former Buckeyes Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner.

“There’s no better place to have the tournament,” Turner said. “I think that it’s going to be so special and fun to play at a place where we all became men. I think our guys are going to show up and show out and make the Buckeye faithful proud. This is definitely something I’m excited for and can’t wait to be part of and I know everybody in the city feels the same way."

Ohio State forced its former players to adopt their new team name prior to last year's TBT after playing under the mantle, Scarlet and Gray, the first two seasons.

OSU contended the use of Scarlet and Gray violated its trademark on the school colors used in combination.

The former Buckeyes have advanced to the TBT semifinals all three years of the event's existence and won it last year with a semifinal upset of the two-time defending champs, Overseas Elite.

For the latest on Ohio State follow Sports Illustrated Buckeye Maven on Facebook and @BuckeyeMaven on Twitter.