The Basketball Tournament Regional Round Coverage

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

What do you get when you have former college stars and current overseas professionals competing for a $2 million, winner-take-all prize? You get The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team field where players come from over all the world to grab a piece of that grand prize, which they’ll only receive if they win the title. With one of the regionals taking place in my backyard at Philadelphia University (soon to be renamed Thomas Jefferson University), I headed over to take in the action in person.

Paul Champions 78, Talladega Knights 74

It’s rare to see a 41-year-old, high school basketball coach control the action in a game consisting of professional basketball players, but the exception comes when that coach played 13 seasons in the NBA. Earl Boykins, the second-shortest player ever in the league after Muggsy Bogues, led the Paul Champions to victory with 25 points and 5 assists. His work as a floor general was enough to overcome hot shooting from former George Washington guard Carl Elliott (game-high 23 points, 4-6 from three) and the rugged interior work of former UConn forward Josh Boone (17 points, 17 rebounds).

FCM Untouchables 92, OPI 77

OPI jumped out to an early double digit lead thanks to some hot three-point shooting, particularly from former Old Dominion wing Jonathan Adams (22 points, 6-9 3PT) and Kenny Bellinger II (26 points, 5-8 3PT). However, once the barrage of long-range bombs slowed down, the top-seed Untouchables were too deep and talented, pulling away and coasting to an easy victory. Kyle Hines, the 2016 Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year, was a consistently dominant presence for the Untouchables with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Marcus Hatten, who averaged 22 ppg in his senior year at St. John’s, knocked down 4 triples of his own for 16 points.

Team FOE 80, DC On Point 75

With current NBA players Markieff and Marcus Morris coaching from the bench, Team FOE easily had the most talent in the gym between the two sides. What matters is the guys suiting up to take the court though, and DC On Point looked like they might have enough firepower to pull off the upset in the 4-13 matchup. Led by 21 points from Delaware alum Andrew Washington and 19 points from Tymell Murphy, DC On Point opened up a 13-point lead midway through the second half. But with a raucous, partisan crowd cheering on the Philly/Kansas squad, Team FOE stormed back to take the lead with a 20-3 run. Former Jayhawks standout Tyshawn Taylor was the catalyst, dropping a team-best 21 points to help Team FOE hold on and advance to the next round.

Sideline Cancer 100, Zoo Crew 87

Levance Fields graduated from Pittsburgh in 2009. Playing with many of his fellow Pitt alums for the Zoo Crew, it looked like he hasn’t missed a beat, poured in 35 points on 11-18 shooting. Unfortunately for Panthers fans, there’s another end to the floor, and Sideline Cancer found little resistance from the Zoo Crew defense in getting to the rim at will. Former St. Joseph’s point guard Aaron Brown and ex-East Stroudsburg star each scored 25 points, making a combined 19 of 25 shots from the field. The group playing in part to raise money for pancreatic cancer research will advance their cause to the next round.

Gael Nation 88, City of Gods 86

In the wildest finish of the day, it looked for a second like we were going to be treated to extra basketball. Then, with the game tied, former Temple star and NBA 1st-round pick Mardy Collins was sent to the foul line with 9 seconds remaining, but missed both free throws. Gael Nation’s Steve Burtt raced down the court and made a tough lay-up with 3 seconds left. Ex-Drexel Dragon Phil Goss nearly connected on a game-winning three, but it was a bit long, and the Iona alums will stay in the hunt for the big money. Burtt and St. John’s career leader in three pointers, D’Angelo Harrison, each had 23 points for Gael Nation, while six players scored in double digits for City of Gods.

Boeheim’s Army 99, DuBois Dream 66

From the closest game of the day, we then transitioned to the biggest blowout. DuBois Dream, mostly made up of former D-III stars, was not able to hang with the team of former Syracuse Orange talent. Brandon Triche shined for Boeheim’s Army, notching a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists.

SuperNova 97, South Jamaica Kings 72

Many folks favorite to win the tournament, the Villanova alumni squad had no trouble dispatching the South Jamaica Kings in front of the hometown crowd. Despite a whopping 37 points from the Kings’ Allen Thomas, Villanova quickly opened up what was an 8-point halftime lead and cruised to victory. Malcolm Grant led Nova with 21 points, while Maurice Sutton had 16 points and 13 rebounds. The squad also got a boost with national champion Darryl Reynolds showing up to come off the bench; Reynolds had been expected to be a scratch due to NBA Summer League.

Team Fancy 78, Rebel Riders 70

Jason Thompson, who played 8 NBA seasons, including about a week with the Sixers, led his team into TBT consisting of Rider grads with some former Temple Owls sprinkled into the mix. Thompson looked the part of a team anchor, recording 14 points and 18 rebounds, while ex-Owl Ramone Moore led the team with 20 points. But the pair weren’t enough against a more balanced attack by Team Fancy. Fancy kept the Riders just at arms-length away all game, led by former Rhode Island Ram Delroy James’ 18 points and Scott Machado’s 17. Team Fancy will be up against SuperNova Sunday.

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