By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In partnership with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, Capital University has been selected to serve as the host site for a regional championship event for the fifth annual The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the summer's premier basketball event. The regional championship event is set to be held at The Capital Center Performance Arena on Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22, 2018, and will be broadcast on ESPN.
TBT features a 72-team bracket of top-notch professional basketball, featuring college alumni teams, international basketball stars, ex-NBA players, future NBA players, and more competing in a single-elimination 5-on-5 tournament for a winner-take-all $2 million prize. Games will air on ESPN networks beginning Friday, July 13.
The highly-competitive tournament has attracted some of the best basketball in the world. In 2017, more than 68 former NBA players competed and more than two-thirds of the over 700 players were current professionals. As of today, 14 players who competed in TBT in 2017 are playing or have played in the NBA this season. Overseas Elite, a team of American stars currently playing in top leagues around the world, won for the third consecutive year in 2017, and have now taken home an astounding $5 million over three years.
"The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is an incredible event and we are tremendously excited to serve as host of a regional championship," said head women's basketball coach and associate athletic director, Dixie Jeffers. "The cities of Columbus and Bexley will get a unique opportunity to see some exceptional basketball played by elite, high-profile athletes. This benefits everybody in so many ways, and we are thrilled TBT selected Capital University to be a part of this event."
"We are proud to partner with Capital University to bring another signature basketball event to our sports community," said Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Logan. "The Ohio State 'Scarlet and Gray' team had such a great run to the semifinals in TBT last year and that was the impetus for us to bid on this event for Columbus so Buckeye fans could experience these games first hand."
The decision to host the nationally-televised event further reinforces Columbus as a premier destination and desired major event host city. On April 18, 2017, the NCAA awarded the City of Columbus 12 championship events that will be held between 2018 and 2022 between five different academic institutions. The announcement also comes on the heels of Columbus' preparation for the upcoming NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four on March 30 - April 1.
Columbus and Capital have not been strangers to large-scale events being featured at its venues. In March 2017, Ohio Dominican University hosted the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight, while earlier in the calendar year The Ohio State University hosted the Division I Women's Volleyball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus. Capital served as the host of the 2016 Division III Women's Basketball Final Four in the first year that the event had been held away from the championship site, which also coincided with the 30th anniversary of the women's basketball championship.
TBT's semi-finals and the $2 million championship game will return to Baltimore at a new venue – Morgan State University – Thursday, August 2 and Friday, August 3. The Super 16 will be held in Atlanta from July 26-29, with Georgia State University serving as the host venue. The regional competitions will be held in:
- South – Arthur Ashe Jr. Center Richmond, Va. from July 13-15;
- West – Cal State University Los Angeles from July 13-15;
- Northeast – Long Island University of Brooklyn, N.Y. from July 20-22; and
- Midwest – Capital University of Columbus, Ohio from July 20-22
The application period for TBT 2018 entrants runs from April 2 to June 1. Teams compete for spots in the tournament by soliciting support from fans via social, digital and all other forms of media. Applicants must be 18 or older and willing to forego their amateur status. For more information about TBT, visit www.TheTournament.com.
More information regarding the Columbus site TBT regional championship will be provided at a later date.