Buckeyes, Headlines

Scarlet and Gray reach Final Four in The Basketball Tournament

(Bill Landis, cleveland.com)

Last weekend, the Scarlet and Gray, which consists of seven former Buckeyes and two others, along with Scoonie Penn and Evan Turner as coaches, took care of business and easily advanced their way into the Sweet 16 of The Basketball Tournament. This past weekend, they did the same, advancing to the Final Four of The Basketball Tournament.

Saturday afternoon, they took on No. 3 seed Always A Brave. The Scarlet and Gray outmatched their full of Bradley alumni opponent, 81-72. Jared Sullinger continued to dominate, with the Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager in attendance. He led the team in the win. The only negative aspect of the game was when Jon Diebler, arguably the team’s best shooter, rolled his ankle, forcing him to miss the rest of the game. They were still able to pull out the victory even without one of their top scorers.

Then, Sunday came. Taking on No. 1-seed Golden Eagles (mainly Marquette alumni), the Scarlet and Gray were expected to face their first true test of the tournament. Even without Diebler, who suited up and tried but didn’t playing after the opening minutes, they dominated (and upset) the Golden Eagles, 81-56. Whether it was inside or outside, the Scarlet and Gray outmatched, out-hustled, and dominated all aspects of the game. This time, they were led by David Lighty, William Buford, Sullinger, and Leon Rodgers offensively. Aaron Craft, along with bringing plenty of offense, made his biggest impact defensively.

The Scarlet and Gray have a great shot to win the tournament. Whether it’s Sully, Lighty, Buford, or any other player on the team, all of them can step up and carry the team on their backs. Assuming Diebler will be 100 percent by the semifinal game, he adds yet another scorer back to the team. Craft, who was one of the best defensive guards in college basketball history, has continued his dominance on that side of the floor. His defense and hustle is truly unmatched. They are plowing through their opposition so far and it may be tough to stop them.

The Scarlet and Gray are just two wins away from taking home the $2 million winner-take-all cash that the winner of The Basketball Tournament wins. They will take on No. 6-seed Team Challenge ALS out of the West Region in semi-finals, which are set for August 1. The championship game will be August 3. Both the Final Four and Championship will take place at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Here’s highlights from both Saturday’s and Sunday’s wins in case you weren’t able to watch either (or both) games: