Carmen's Crew is Top Seed, Receives First-Round Bye in TBT Bracket
COLUMBUS, Ohio – As previously anticipated, The Ohio State alumni team Carmen’s Crew will be the top overall seed and receive a first-round bye to begin its title defense in The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
The returning champions, expected to feature a 10-man roster that will be further previewed soon, will need to win four-consecutive games to secure the $1 million prize for this year’s single-elimination event at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.
Carmen’s Crew will open Wednesday, July 8 against the winner of No. 16 seed House of Paign and No. 17-seed War Tampa. House of Paign features mostly Illinois alumni while the War Tampa roster has a mix of talent from down south, including multiple former players from Auburn.
Eight teams have been awarded a bye while 16 others will be competing in the opening round, scheduled for July 4 and 5. More than 120 teams applied this year. See full bracket here:
The seventh-annual TBT, featuring its unique “Elam Ending” format, is being hosted July 4-14 at Nationwide. All games will be aired live on ESPN while no outside fans/spectators are allowed due to COVID-19 precautions.
Carmen’s Crew, spearhead by reigning MVP William Buford, claimed last year’s title with a 66-60 victory over the Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni). The team will be guided by general manager Evan Turner, head coach Jared Sullinger and assistant coach Leon Rodgers.
“It’s about competing,” swingman David Lighty said during TBT’s Selection show, when asked about staying hungry as the defending champions. “All the guys on the team have been competing since day one. If this wasn’t going on, we would be in the gym somewhere going at it and talking trash. Why not play to try and win this, and take part in something special with your brothers.”
Big X, seeded ninth, is also back in the field and is expected to feature multiple former Buckeyes as well. They will open against the last seed, No. 24 Jackson (TN) Underdawgs, in the first game of the tournament.
Many notable names will once again be taking part in the bracket this time around, headlined by former NBA All-Star Joe Johnson competing with 4x champ and second-seeded Overseas Elite. Former OSU players Kam Williams and Marc Loving will unfortunately not be in the event this year as their team, Great Lakes Elite, was not selected into the condensed field.
Check back soon for expanded previews on full Carmen’s Crew/Big X rosters and the list of competition standing in the way of a crown.