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Ohio State Alumni Team Carmen’s Crew Returning To The Basketball Tournament In 2022

The former Buckeyes reached the Round of 16 in last year's tournament, which featured games at the Covelli Center.

With tournament organizers extending automatic bids to all 32 teams who won their first-round game last summer, Ohio State alumni team Carmen’s Crew announced on Wednesday it will participate in this year’s rendition of The Basketball Tournament.

This will be the sixth tournament appearance for Carmen’s Crew, which was known as Scarlet & Gray for the first two years of play. The team won the championship and $2 million prize in 2019, but fell in the Round of 16 in last year’s tournament.

It’s unclear at this time which Ohio State alumni will take part in The Basketball Tournament this summer, especially after former guards Aaron Craft and Jon Diebler last year’s loss to The Money Team would be the final game of their respective careers.

“This is it for me. I am done playing basketball,” Diebler said. “I’m at a point in my life and my career when it’s time to be done. I’ve had a fortunate career. I’ve played for nine years, stayed healthy for the most part.

“This is fun. I love these guys. It’s fun to get in front of our fans. I think that’s what hurts the most is the crowd really brought it tonight. It’s good times.”

Both Craft and Diebler were hopeful that former center Jared Sullinger, who serves as the head coach and general manager of Carmen’s Crew, would allow them to remain involved with the team and simply replace them on the roster with younger former Buckeyes in order to make a run at another tournament title.

“Our goal was really to keep it going,” Diebler said. “This wasn’t just a five-year thing to when we’re all old and retired that there’s no more Carmen’s Crew in the TBT. We want to keep it going."

Other Ohio State alumni who took part in last year’s tournament include guards Shannon Scott, Keyshawn Woods, David Lighty; forwards William Buford, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Evan Ravenel; and center Kosta Koufos. Whether or not they return this year is still to be determined.

So, too, is one of the hosts for the first weekend of this year’s tournament, which is notable given the Covelli Center was one of the regional sites in 2021. If that spot is filled by another venue, Carmen’s Crew could be forced to play a game outside of Columbus for the first time since 2017 – the team's first year of play.

This year’s tournament will begin on July 16 and run through the championship game in Dayton on Aug. 2.

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