COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2019 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the $2 million, summer event televised live on ESPN, today announced it will once again bring its high-stakes brand of basketball to the Capital Center in Columbus, Ohio July 19-21, hosted by the Ohio State Alumni team.
Since its inception, the Ohio State Alumni consistently have been one of TBT's most successful teams and were crowned Midwest Regional Champions in 2017. Led by Ohio State legends Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft, the team returned home to Columbus for the Midwest Regional in 2018 and won both of their games in front of a two-day, sold-out crowd at the Capital Center.
"Having TBT in Columbus last year was unbelievable," said Scoonie Penn, Ohio State Alumni's head coach. "It was surreal to see the amount of support the tournament received while here. Columbus is a city that embraces basketball - especially when the Buckeyes are involved. Having the tournament back in Columbus in 2019, I'm sure, will be even better, something the community is eager to experience."
Alongside Penn, Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner will return as Ohio State Alumni's assistant coach.
The ESPN family of networks will telecast select TBT games live. The first-round games at Capital University will take place on Friday, July 19, with four games that evening. The remaining four teams will compete in the regional semifinals on Saturday, July 20, and the regional championship will be played on Sunday, July 21.
"I'm excited about TBT returning to Columbus," former Ohio State basketball forward and CBS Sports broadcaster Clark Kellogg said. "Central Ohio hoops fans are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate in the country and turned out in a big way to support former OSU players and the high-level basketball and family-friendly event that is TBT. It's an exciting event for our city, and one I look forward to attending again."
For the first time in its six-year history, TBT is admitting eight "host" teams before opening its application period, creating memorable, college-like atmospheres for home and visiting teams alike for Rounds 1-3.
"One of the things we've tapped into is the passion college basketball fans have for their former players," said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT. "We've also found that visiting teams have had a blast playing in front of raucous crowds cheering against them. This year's regional hosts include some of college basketball's most passionate fan bases."
TBT features a 64-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 July 19, 2019 from Columbus.
TBT's semifinals and the $2 million championship game will be played in Chicago from Aug. 1-6. Regional competitions will be held in:
- Columbus, hosted by Ohio State Alumni – July 19-21
- Lexington, hosted by Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky Alumni) – July 19-21
- Greensboro, hosted by Team CP3 (Chris Paul's team) – July 19-21
- Memphis, hosted by Memphis State – July 19-21
- Salt Lake City, hosted by Team Fredette (Jimmer Fredette's team) – July 25-27
- Wichita, hosted by AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni) – July 25-28
- Syracuse, hosted by Boeheim's Army (Syracuse Alumni) – July 26-28
- Richmond, hosted by Ram Nation (VCU Alumni) – July 26-28
Also for the first time, each of the eight regional champions will earn a prize equal to 25 percent of that region's ticket sales.
The highly-competitive tournament has attracted some of the best basketball players in the world. Last year, more than 60 players with NBA experience played in TBT, including multiple former lottery picks, NBA Champions and All-Stars. Sixteen TBT 2017 players signed deals with NBA teams in 2017-18. Overseas Elite, a dynasty team of American stars playing in top leagues around the world, won for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, running its record to 25-0 and taking home an astounding $7 million in the process. They will be back to defend their title, although they have yet to determine in what region they will play.
Puma will once again serve as an Official Partner of TBT in 2019.
For tickets or more information, visit www.thetournament.com.
The Basketball Tournament
Entering its sixth year, The Basketball Tournament has grown from a unique idea among friends into one of the most exciting and engaging events on the summer sports calendar, with national TV exposure on ESPN, social media buzz and regional championships across the country – culminating in a winner-take-all $2 million game. Every year, it attracts some of the best basketball players in the world. For more information, visit www.thetournament.com.
The Capital Center (Capital University)
Located in the Columbus, Ohio, community of Bexley, Capital University is a comprehensive, private university centered in contemporary Lutheran values offering undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs in the liberal arts, sciences and professions. Since its founding in 1830 and charter as a university in 1850, Capital has been an agent in shaping engaged citizens and purposeful leaders who improve their industries, communities and society.
Opened in 2001, The Capital Center is a 126,000-square-foot recreational and athletic complex that includes a 2,100-seat performance arena, a 3,000-seat Bernlohr Stadium, a 51,000-square-foot multipurpose forum, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center, and a multitude of offices, classrooms and hospitality areas.