The Basketball Tournament is picking up serious steam in the midst of its third year. After last year's winning prize was $1 million, the 2016 edition is double that at $2 million, which adds to the stakes of the showcase.
Sunday's action featured regional play from the West in Los Angeles and the South in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four squads who won advanced to the Super 16, but only one will ultimately emerge from August 2's championship finale with the winner-takes-all bundle.
Below are all the scores from Sunday's schedule, followed by an overall recap of the contests. The complete bracket featuring all 64 teams is available at the tournament's official website, along with stats for all games.
|The Basketball Tournament 2016:|
|West Regional (Los Angeles)||Winner & Score|
|No. 1 Team 23 vs. No. 8 New Mexico RH||Team 23, 101-88|
|No. 4 Skinner's Frate Train vs. No. 5 Team Colorado||Team Colorado, 94-85|
|No. 3 Few Good Men vs. No. 6 7outz||Few Good Men, 98-54|
|No. 2 LAUNFD vs. No. 7 Team Utah||Team Utah, 86-76|
|South Region (Charlotte, N.C.)||Winner & Score|
|No. 1 Bluff City Blues vs. No. 8 Trained To Go||Trained To Go, 83-82|
|No. 4 Team BDB vs. No. 5 TMD||TMD, 112-91|
|No. 3 Ram Nation vs. No. 11 Kings of the South||Ram Nation, 102-76|
|No. 2 Overseas Elite vs. No. 7 HBC||Overseas Elite, 91-84|
A thrilling upset set the tone for the day's slate, as Trained To Go edged out a Bluff City Blues squad comprised largely of Memphis alumni by a score of 83-82.
Past NBL Canada scoring champion Brandon Robinson led all scorers with 21 points and sank two three-pointers in the final 11 seconds to lift his side to victory. Geron Johnson had 20 points, five boards, four assists and four steals to pace the Bluff City Blues.
The top seed in the South managed to make it through on Sunday, though. After losing by two points in last year's final, Team 23 appears on course to return to the championship game following a 101-88 victory over New Mexico RH.
Frank Gaines poured in 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting in only 19 minutes to lead the winning effort from Team 23, who move on to face Team Colorado.
Still alive in the South is second-seeded Overseas Elite, the defending champions. Thanks to nine boards apiece from Kyle Fogg and DJ Kennedy to go with 27 and 23 points, respectively, their team got through HBC 91-84 in Charlotte.
The tournament's official Twitter account put the team's success into perspective:
Overseas Elite has to be considered the South favorite, especially with Bluff City Blues bowing out early.
Next to finish was TMD, who had flamboyant former Ole Miss standout Marshall Henderson on the floor and lit up the scoreboard in a 112-91 romp over TeamBDB.
Henderson, the team's general manager, didn't have the most proficient outing, putting up 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting, but his teammates did plenty to pick up the slack. Three TMD players scored 20 points or more, headed by Christopher Warren's 30.
Ram Nation proved it was a force to be reckoned with in a 102-76 rout of the Kings of the South. Darius Theus led the scoring with 27 points for the victors.
VCU Basketball had a neat reaction to the triumph:
In accordance with the attacking, "Havoc" style of basketball the team members played at VCU, Ram Nation caused 17 turnovers and committed only nine. It outscored the Kings of the South 18-5 in fast-break points and sank 19 of 27 shots in the second half to break the game open.
A stout defensive effort by the Gonzaga-laden Few Good Men held 7Outz to 18 points in the first half, ultimately culminating in a 98-54 result. Jeremy Pargo had 14 points and eight assists in helping Few Good Men progress to the Super 16.
The final two games of the day saw Team Colorado beat Skinner's Frate Train 94-85, followed by Team Utah defeating LAUNFD 86-76.
Among the Super 16 matchups to emerge from Sunday's slate, the most intriguing has to be the battle between Ram Nation and Overseas Elite. Whichever team comes out on top should use the win as a springboard for massive momentum and could well win the entire tournament.
Given its experience as a mid-major darling in college basketball, Ram Nation has the makings of a legitimate upset spoiler to Overseas Elite's potential repeat bid.
Scores and information courtesy of TheTournament.com.