The bracket for the fifth annual The Basketball Tournament has been released and a pair of teams with strong mid-major ties have earned 2 seeds.
Ram Nation (VCU Alumni) and Team Fredette (a team headlined by Jimmer Fredette and featuring primarily mid-major alumni) lead the way among the teams we’ll be watching. Ram Nation has been a mainstay in the event and reached the Elite Eight last year before falling to eventual champion Overseas Elite. Overseas Elite, a team that includes Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga), has won the last three TBT championships. It is going for four in a row this year as the No. 1 seed in Ram Nation’s bracket.
Many mid-major alumni teams from previous seasons have returned for this year’s tournament. Gael Nation (Iona alumni), which lost a memorable game to Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse alumni) in the second round last year earned a 5 seed and will take on Sideline Cancer in the first round.
Unfortunately, even TBT is not immune to mid-on-mid violence. Air Force Bomb Squad (Air Force alumni), a 14 seed last year and this year, is matched up with 3 seed newcomer Gael Force (Saint Mary’s alumni). There is, however, the possibility of a Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s Second Round game, as Few Good Men (Gonzaga alumni) is the 6 seed in that region.
Always A Brave (Bradley alumni) was a 3 seed last year and advanced to the Sweet 16 but dropped to a 5 this year. It draws a strong 12 seed in Primetime Players.
Newcomers to the mid-major alumni field include Saints Alive (Siena alumni), Monarch Nation (ODU alumni) and Hilltop Dawgs (UMBC alumni). The latter pair are matched up against each other to start, sadly.
The fun all starts on June 29 and 30 when the Hoopfest and Big East pods tip off. From there, it’s on to the regionals, which will take place in mid July. Morgan State University will host the semis and the finals on August 2 and 3. Those games will air on ESPN and the entire tournament can be seen on either on TV or online via the Worldwide Leader’s family of networks.
The winning team gets a $2 million grand prize. Check back here later to join our bracket challenge group.