Just two wins away from winning $2 million, the No.2 seed Scarlet and Gray were upset by No. 6 seed Team Challenge ALS, 88-83, in double overtime Tuesday night. With former Ohio State coach Thad Matta in attendance to watch some of his former players, the Buckeye alum did all they could, but came up a bit short.
If they would have won their Final Four game Tuesday night and went on to win the championship of The Tournament Thursday night, the team would have won $2 million. Instead, they walk away with nothing. Keep in mind, it’s a winner-take-all single-elimination tournament, so even if you lose in the championship, you still walk away with zero dollars.
The lone legitimate point guard on the roster, Aaron Craft was in foul trouble for much of the game, which ended up costing the Scarlet and Gray. He even was called for his fifth foul (only allowed six) early in the second half and was forced to sit on the bench for much of the final 14 minutes of the game. Missing his defense and ability to lead the offense proved costly. While it wasn’t the sole reason, their 18 turnovers proved costly. But, I mean, what are you supposed to do against such a talented team when you don’t have a true point guard in the game?
Leading the way for the Scarlet and Gray were Jared Sullinger (26 points, 10 rebounds), Leon Rodgers (17 points, 10 rebounds), and Williams Buford (17 points, five rebounds). With Jon Diebler not being able to find his shot along with the rest of the team struggling from the field, they were in a tough spot. The offense sputtered.
By the time the second overtime rolled around, the Scarlet and Gray looked tired. Without Craft nagging on the opposing point guard on the defensive end, Team Challenge ALS seemed to have just a little more energy as the game went on. Then again, if it wasn’t for a controversial foul call with just seconds remaining in regulation to allow Team Challenge ALS to tie the game and force overtime, the Scarlet and Gray would have already won the game.
Due to that much money being on the line, things were quite physical, so it was good that The Tournament brought along some of the best college basketball officials as their referees.
Although Scarlet and Gray won’t have a chance to play together until a possibly reunion at the same tournament in 2018, it was awesome to see some of the band back. If anything, they proved that they are still as talented (or close to as talented) as they were back when they played for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Here’s a look some highlights from the game: