With March Madness-style one-and-done games and the lure for former or middling professional players to garner scouts’ attention and earn some money, The Basketball Tournament has become a 64-team event with a national following. The semifinals and championship in Baltimore will be broadcast live on ESPN.
The first game Tuesday pits Scarlet & Gray, a team of recent Ohio State alumni — including 2012 first-round draft pick Jared Sullinger, who played in 11 games for the Toronto Raptors last season — against Team Challenge ALS at 7 p.m.
The underdog squad of the final four, Team Challenge ALS has beaten three higher seeds to advance to the rounds in Baltimore and plans to use the money it would earn with a win to contribute to the fight against ALS. The squad’s leader, Sean Marshall, was Boston College roommates with the person who inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a few summers ago, Pete Frates.
The second semifinal features Boeheim’s Army, Syracuse alumni who overcame a 25-point deficit in the quarterfinals, and two-time defending TBT champion Overseas Elite. Boeheim’s Army might receive some hometown support, as Baltimore high school stars Donte Greene and C.J. Fair are on the team. But Overseas Elite is 17-0 in TBT play over the past three years.
Before the championship Thursday night, The Basketball Tournament will also host a community service day, where Anthony and Mayor Catherine Pugh will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and there will be a job fair, basketball camp, and health and wellness activities.