It’s back, with twice the money and almost half the field, and the finals will return to The Bronx in August. What is it? The Basketball Tournament (TBT) presented by Jack Link’s® Protein Snacks, the winner-take-all event which grabbed a lot of headlines with its drama and some big name players the last two years.
Now the organizers have doubled the prize money to a cool $2 million (with fans getting to take a portion if their team wins), while taking a quality over quantity approach by dropping the field from 96 teams to 64 (sound familiar, field of 64?). The 2016 Regional Cities will be: South (Charlotte) July 9, 10; West (Los Angeles) July 9, 10; Midwest (Chicago) July 16, 17; Northeast (Philadelphia) July 16, 17. Super 16 & Quarterfinals (Philadelphia) July 21, 21, 23. Semifinals (New York) will be on Saturday July 30th with the Championship (also New York) on Tuesday August 2nd at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym.
While no players have been whispered yet, the money and the allure of ESPN again as a TV partner should draw a similar if not better field from last year. Mike Bibby and Jason Williams were among the bigger names to jump in last year, with some local players like St. John’s D.J. Kennedy eventually rising to grab the million dollar prize playing for Overseas Elite. Last year there was a team of D-League All-Stars in the final four, so maybe the Westchester Knicks can find a way in (Jimmer your number is being called!).
“Doubling the prize to $2 million and allowing the winning team’s fans to share 10% of that is a massive step towards our goal of empowering sports fans,” said Jon Mugar, TBT founder and CEO in a statement. “The interest and support we’ve received from all areas of the basketball world has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to see what communities of teams form over the next several months.”
It has not exactly been a stellar year in college or pro hoops in the area again, although schools like Wagner, Monmouth, Stony Brook, Seton Hall and Columbia may be racing towards “March Madness,” and even Fordham is making a slow climb out of the depths of the bottom of the A 10. Still the area’s best hoops may not arrive until August, and with $2 million now on the table, the excitement and talent level should be pretty high.
TBT 2016: What Team Do You Play For?
There's been no shortage of doubters over the years, from the highest and most powerful places you can imagine. We let our players & fans do the talking. #TBT2016. $2,000,000. Winner takes all. Single Elimination. Championship Game August 2 in New York. Fans of the winners take home 10% ($200,000).What team do you play for? Team application and voting opens April 1 on TheTournament.com!
Posted by The Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, February 23, 2016