Basketball junkies looking for a post NBA-season fix will have their fill starting next weekend with The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team competition which is now in its third year and boasts a $2 million winner-take-all prize.
While any team is eligible to make the field, only those who qualify via the tournament’s criteria make their way in. The easiest way to earn a spot is by getting fans to vote for your team, which is why it should be no surprise that a team loaded with players with ties to the state of Kentucky is among the leading vote-getters.
The Bluegrass Boys, coached by former Kentucky star Derek Anderson, features a roster with seven other former UK players including Marquis Teague and Joe Crawford, along with former Louisville standout Chane Behanan, former Xavier star Jordan Crawford (Joe’s brother), and former Tennessee standouts Scotty Hopson and Brian Williams. The team has earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region and will begin play July 16 at St. Xavier University in Chicago.
Games start next weekend at four regional sites, with Super 16 matchups taking place in Philadelphia on July 21-23 before the final three games are played at Fordham University in the Bronx on July 30 and Aug. 2.
ESPN’s networks will televise 11 of the games, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, with the final three games appearing on ESPN.