TBT Championship Game Set

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The Basketball Tournament (TBT) championship is set for Tuesday, July 14. In a year where nothing has gone as expected, the TBT has played out the same way.

The final will unexpectedly feature the No. 4 seed Golden Eagles against the No. 22 seed Sideline Cancer.

The Golden Eagles team is made up of Marquette alumni including Darius Johnson-Odom, Dwight Buycks, and Jamil Wilson. The Marquette squad is looking to avenge last season’s championship loss to Carmen’s Crew. After a first-round bye, the Golden Eagles have defeated Team CP3 (No. 13), Brotherly Love (No. 12), and Red Scare (No. 8) to make the championship.

Coming out of nowhere, Sideline Cancer has players from various colleges including Marcus Keene (Central Michigan), Maurice Creek (Indiana), and Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh). Their unlikely path to the championship included wins over Hines (No. 11), Challenge ALS (No. 6), Boeheim’s Army (No. 3), and Overseas Elite (No. 2).

Due to COVID-19, the field, which is usually somewhere between 64 and 97 teams, was cut to just 24 entrants playing in one location (Columbus, OH). TBT even had to shuffle the deck a bit as four teams had to be swapped out because of coronavirus-related concerns.

Reigning champs Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State alumni) was ousted in the first round by House of ‘Paign (Illinois alumni featuring South Dakota State’s Mike Daum).

Prior to 2019, the Overseas Elite team had won four TBTs in a row. Now they have lost in the semifinals two years in a row. This year, that defeat happened despite adding seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson to the roster.

The lone UNC alum in the tournament, Christian Keeling, lost in the first round. Keeling was the leading scorer for the Primetime Players (25 points), but they fell to Team CP3 despite holding an 18-point first half lead. 

In the $1 million, winner-take-all tournament, if the Golden Eagles win, each player will take home $90,000. With the victory, each Sideline Cancer player would receive $75,000.

Regardless of the winner, the TBT will crown a first-time champion on Tuesday evening. Tune in to ESPN at 7:00pm ET to watch the final.

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