The Basketball Tournament (TBT) presented by Jack Link’s Jerky, the single-elimination, five-on-five, winner-take-all, open-application tournament with a $1 Million prize, has its field set for next weekend’s semi-finals at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Gym in New York. Four talented, veteran clubs survived this past weekend’s “Super 17” to advance to the action starting Saturday. Mark Jones, Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Goodman will call all the action starting at 3 p.m. (EDT) both days live on ESPN.
The semi-finals will feature Baltimore’s “City of Gods,” who eliminated Boeheim’s Army in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Coached by Joe Connelly, brother of Phoenix Suns GM Pat and Denver Nuggets GM Tim, the team is led by former New York Knicks Dermarr Johnson and Michael Sweetney, as well as NBA and Euro league veterans Pops Mensah-Bonsu (George Washington University), Devin Sweetney (St. Francis-Pa) and two Philly college stars turned professionals, David Hawkins of Temple and Phil Goss of Drexel.
They will take on Overseas Elite, led by former St. John’s University star D.J. Kennedy, point guard Errick McCollum II, brother of Portland Trailblazers swingman CJ McCollum, NCAA All-Time three point leader Travis Bader, University of Texas’ Myck Kabongo, and another former St. John’s star: Paris Horne.
The other matchup will feature the Ants Alumni, a reunion of the 2014 NBA D-League Champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The Ants are coached by Columbia University grad Dylan Murphy and led by former SEC Player of the Year Chris Porter, NBA veteran Stephen Graham and two former University of Miami stars in William Frisby and Anthony Harris. Their opponent will be Team 23, an Arizona-based team named in honor of Michael Jordan. Team 23 has won its 5 games by an average margin of 23 points, with none of the games being closer than 14 points. They found success in Chicago this past weekend behind the solid interior play of former Seton Hall center Augustine Okosun and the shooting of guard Davin White, as they dismantled Las Vegas’ 7outz by 41 and LAUNFD by 21.
The 97-team field has included no fewer than 125 players who have played in either the NBA or the NBA D-League, and over 500 with professional experience. 317 teams applied to make the 97-team field, with each team consisting of a General Manager (GM), at least seven players, and 100+ fan votes. All players must be 18 or older and all games will be played under college rules with two 18-minute halves.