The first of potentially multiple showdowns featuring Big Ten roots will take place Wednesday afternoon in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), as fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini can head back down memory lane.
Carmen’s Crew (featuring mostly OSU alums) and House of Paign (primarily former Illinois players) will square off in a second-round matchup of the winner-take-all $1 million bracket at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The game, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, is slated to tip at 4 p.m.
The defending champions, Carmen’s Crew received a first-round bye and will open its title defense after winning the 64-team event last summer. Former Buckeyes William Buford (MVP), Aaron Craft, David Lighty, Jon Diebler and others outlasted the Marquette alumni team, 66-60, during the championship in Chicago.
House of Paign, a new entrant accepted into the field this year, opened with a lopsided 76-53 triumph over War Tampa in the opening round Saturday night. Assembled by former Illinois player Mike LaTulip, the group also encompasses the likes of alums Malcolm Hill, Nnanna Egwu, LeRon Black, Andres Feliz, Cameron Liss and Michael Finke. Hill is the program’s third all-time leading scorer.
In addition, House of Paign also boasts South Dakota State star Mike Daum and former DePaul guard Billy Garrett Jr. Daum, who dropped 27 points in SDSU’s near-upset of Ohio State in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, scored a game-high 21 in the opening win.
Making things even more interesting is that former Illinois standout Demetri McCamey is back on the Carmen's Crew roster for another season. He is a longtime friend and former high school teammate of Evan Turner.