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Previewing ‘The Basketball Tournament’ Semifinal, Tipping off This Weekend in NYC

The Basketball Tournament

(photo courtesy of The Basketball Tournament)

And then there were four. The Basketball Tournament opened up competition almost a month ago with 64 teams. Unlike the NCAA tournament, not every favorite made it out of their region. But, there are some familiar NCAA basketball names competing for $2 million this weekend.

The final four teams in TBT include the defending champions and 2 seed champions of the South Region, Overseas Elite. The number one seeded champion from the Northwest Region, City of Gods, will face off with Overseas Elite for the second year in a row. Last years tournament featured this same matchup and Overseas Elite won on their way to the $1 million prize. This year, City of Gods earned a rematch against Overseas Elite after overcoming a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat The Untouchables last Saturday, 86–79.

The Basketball Tournament

Last year’s champions, Overseas Elite. (Photo courtesy The Basketball Tournament)

On the other side of the bracket, the 9 seed champion from the Midwest region, Always a Brave, looks to continue their hot streak of wins. They eliminated other heavy favorites like Pedro’s Posse, with Mike Bibby and Jason Williams on the team, and they also handed a loss to a team of Blue Eagles Alumni coach by Dallas Mavericks wingman Wes Matthews. Team Colorado, the 5 seed champion out of the West region, made it to the final four after a pair of big wins in the Super 16 weekend. They defeated top seeded Team 23, led by D.J. Strawberry, and then handed a loss to Team Utah.

Here’s some more information about the final four teams competing for the $2 million prize, courtesy of The Basketball Tournament.

#2 seed Overseas Elite (South Champion) — Defending Champions, never lost, 11-0 in two years of TBT. Familiar names include: DJ Kennedy (St. John’s), Kyle Fogg (Arizona), Errick McCollum (brother of Portland star C.J.), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Paris Horne (St. John’s), St. Joseph’s alum Todd O’Brien, and South Carolina’s Jhondre Jefferson.

#1 City of Gods (Northeast Champion) — City of Gods features a number of players with Baltimore ties on their roster, including former Georgetown Hoyas Chris Wright and Michael Sweetney, (Knicks lottery pick), George Washington University alumni Lafonte Johnson, Lasan Kromah, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Maryland alumnus James Gist, Drexel alum Phil Goss, Temple alum David Hawkins, James Wright and Dermarr Johnson from Cincinnati, Xavier Silas from Northern Illinois and Omar Strong from Texas Southern. City of Gods is coached by long-time NBA and International pro development coach Joe Connelly III, a Morgan State grad and brother of Phoenix Suns Asst. GM Pat and Denver Nuggets GM Tim. Probably their best-known player is Mensah-Bonsu, who played in the NBA for two-plus seasons with the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, and played overseas for several years.

#9 Always a Brave (Midwest Champion) — Lowest remaining seed in TBT. Always A Brave advanced out of the Midwest Regional in Chicago and the Super 16 in Philadelphia. The squad, which is primarily the reunited squad from Bradley University that advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, overcame #6 seed Golden Eagles Alumni (a Marquette alumni squad), 89-81 in the Super 16 nightcap Saturday night in Philadelphia. Coached by retired Bradley assistant coach Chuck Buescher, Always A Brave’s roster includes Bradley 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 alumni players Tony Bennett, Jeremy Crouch, Will Franklin, Phillip Gilbert, Patrick O’Bryant, Daniel Ruffin, Matt Sally and Marcus Sommerville, plus later Bradley alumni Walt Lemon, Sam Maniscalco and Andrew Warren, and Indiana alumnus A.J. Guyton.

#5 Team Colorado (West Champion) — Team Colorado advanced out of the West Regional in Los Angeles and the Super 16 in Philadelphia. Team Colorado won over #7 seed Team Utah, 83-78, Saturday night in Philadelphia. All 11 players and coach Dwight Thorne II are alumni of the University of Colorado, including Dominique Coleman, Austin Dufault, Marcus Hall, Marcus King-Stockton, Levi Knutson, Jayson Obazuaye, Marcus Relphorde, Richard Roby, Scott Senger, Shannon Sharpe and Calvin Williams.

The semifinals and championship game are all being played in New York, live from Fordham University. You can buy tickets right here or you can check out all of the games on ESPN.

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