For NBA fans as well as basketball fans the wait for basketball ends soon. Starting on July 4th the Basketball Tournament will be tipping off. The Basketball Tournament will be the first basketball sporting event to take place in the United States since COVID-19 halted the sports world.
Normally the Basketball Tournament would have 64 teams competition but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s version will only have 24 teams. The tournament starts on the Fourth of July and runs every day until the championship game which takes place on July 14. Every game will be on ESPN or ESPN 2.
Several teams feature former NBA players and professional basketball players with many of them being college basketball standouts. Nine of this year’s 24 teams are alumni teams meaning they are composed of players who all played for the same college.
The Basketball Tournament started back in 2014 and has since grown not just in the number of teams but also in popularity amongst professional basketball players. The 2019 Basketball Tournament had 59 players with NBA experience.
34 players that have participated in the Basketball Tournament have gone on to sign deals with NBA teams. Many current NBA players participate in the tournament but do so as coaches, GMs, or boosters.
The tournament is played with college basketball rules but instead of two halves, the Basketball Tournament has four 9-minute quarters. They also allow players to have six fouls and use the international rule for basket interference.
One of the most popular innovations used by the Basketball Tournament is the use of the Elam Ending. The Elam Ending works like this: At the first dead-ball whistle when there are less than four minutes remaining the game clock is turned off. The target score is then set by adding eight points to the winning teams total. The first team to hit that target wins.
For example, if team A is winning 70-67 and the Elam Ending is activated then whichever team gets to 78 (70 + 8= 78) would win the game.
The NBA used this rule for the All-Star game earlier this year and most fans seemed to agree it made the game better. The NBA has said it plans to use the Elam Ending again for next season’s All-Star game.
Teams to Watch:
Carmen’s Crew: The defending champions will look to make it back-to-back. Last year Carmen’s Crew, which is made up of Ohio State alumni, not only won the title but also became the first team to defeat Overseas Elite. Overseas Elite had won the tournament four straight years before last season’s loss. Carmen’s Crew has several great players such as Aaron Craft and William Buford and the team is coached by former NBA player Jared Sullinger.
Overseas Elite: The four-time champions experienced their first loss ever in The Basketball Tournament last year when they fell to eventual champion Carmen’s Crew. Overseas Elite has flat out dominated this tournament and they should be looked at as the favorites. Overseas Elite has several big names on their roster but none of them are bigger than Joe Johnson who signed up to play this year for the team. Johnson is a seven-time All-Star as well as a Big 3 MVP/Champion. Overseas Elite also has Glen Rice Jr, Pooh Jeter, and many other professional basketball players.
Other Notable Teams: Some other teams to keep an eye on include Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse alumni), Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni), Red Scare (Dayton alumni), and Eberlein Drive.
Schedule & Images Courtesy of The Basketball Tournament website