The reigning champs of The Basketball Tournament have a chance to not even have to leave their home state as they play for $2 million again this summer. One year after upsetting Overseas Elite in the semifinals and taking home the trophy with a win over Golden Eagles Alumni, Carmen’s Crew will play in front of their beloved (and favorite) fans in the regional, with the Columbus hosting yet another regional for the TBT.
For those unfamiliar with The Basketball Tournament, it is a $2 million winner-take-all tournament that consists of teams from throughout the country that have former college basketball players on each team. Some are somewhat affiliated with their former schools while other teams are just made up of players from a bunch of different universities. With a team that consists mainly of Ohio State alums, Carmen’s Crew is beloved by Buckeye Nation, much like they were during their playing days as Buckeyes.
Unlike the past two years, this summer’s Columbus Regional will be held at the new Covelli Center on the Ohio State University’s campus, a building that debuted this past fall and houses the Buckeyes’ volleyball and wrestling teams. The regional was at Capital University in 2018 and 2019.
Since Carmen’s Crew debuted in 2017, they have been one of the two most dominant and consistent teams in TBT, with 12 wins over the three-year span, including winning it all in 2019. I mean, with a team full of former Buckeyes, it’s only right, right?
While Jared Sullinger one played for Carmen’s Crew, dominating the paint, he made the move to coaching the team last summer, a position that he will once again hold in the upcoming TBT. Evan Turner will also be on the sidelines, as he has been over the past couple of years. ET is excited, to say the least.
“There’s no better place to have the tournament,” Evan Turner said in a statement. “I think that it’s going to be so special and fun to play at a place where we all became men. I think our guys are going to show up and show out and make the Buckeye faithful proud. This is definitely something I’m excited for and can’t wait to be part of and I know everybody in the city feels the same way!”
Along with Sully and ET being back on the sidelines coaching the Ohio State alumni team, David Lighty, Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, William Buford, and Evan Ravenel have already been confirmed as players as well. Carmen’s Crew will be stacked once again.
Current Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann didn’t coach any of the former Ohio State standouts that will represent Carmen’s Crew, but he is excited to have the Buckeyes back on campus, much like Buckeye Nation is.
“Our program prides itself on welcoming back our former players and having Carmen’s Crew back on campus for the Columbus Regional of The Basketball Tournament takes that to a new level,” Holtmann said. “Buckeye Nation will once again be able to cheer on legendary Buckeyes in our newest modern facility, the Covelli Center. TBT will be yet another opportunity for Carmen’s Crew to continue its success playing in Columbus in front of our tremendous fans.”
First-round games will begin Thursday, July 23 and Friday, July 24. The remaining four teams will compete in the regional semifinals on Saturday, July 25, with the regional championship on Sunday, July 26.
For those that haven’t watched The Basketball Tournament over the years, they debuted the Elam Ending, something that was beloved by all NBA fans, players, and coaches alike during this past Sunday’s All-Star Game. Their postgame bracket celebration is now being used by NCAA Tournament teams as well. The TBT is a trendsetter, you could say.
To make things even better, if Carmen’s Crew wins the Columbus Regional once again, much like they have each of the last two years, they will advance to Championship Week, which so happens to be right down the road at the University of Dayton. The defending champs will have some well-deserved home-court advantage throughout the entire tournament.