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With NBA Scouts Eyeing Jared Sullinger, Buckeyes Alumni Reach TBT Final Four

Scarlet & Gray just two wins from $2 million prize

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you are not watching The Basketball Tournament (or TBT), you are missing out on some quality basketball action. The 64-team tournament is a collection of old college hoop teams and former NBA players, all vying for a winner-take-all prize of $2 million. Although not affiliated with the NBA or NCAA, the summer event has gained a ton of traction since its inception in 2014—complete with ESPN broadcasts and legitimate venues.

On Sunday, the Big Ten’s most notable representative—Scarlet & Gray—won their fourth consecutive game to catapult them into the Final Four of the TBT.

Scarlet & Gray, a collection of Ohio State Buckeyes’ alumni, entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. They kicked off their winning streak with a 15-point win over No. 15 The Region and followed it up with a 14-point win over the No. 7 Banner Boys, an alumni team from UW-Milwaukee. Then, in the Sweet Sixteen, Scarlet & Gray knocked off a collection of Bradley alumni—Always A Brave—behind 21 points and nine rebounds by former-NBA mainstay Jared Sullinger.

With their big win in the Sweet Sixteen, Sullinger and his teammates would now have to face the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, a talented group of former Marquette hoopers. However, while most of Scarlet & Gray was focused on the $2 million prize, Sullinger was playing for something much greater: an NBA contract.

Because of his strong performance in the TBT’s first few games, Sullinger landed on the Brooklyn Nets’ radar. Per Fran Fraschilla of ESPN, the Nets were in attendance for Scarlet & Gray’s Elite Eight game on Sunday, hoping to snag the 6-foot-9 free agent for the upcoming 2017-18 season. As of this post, the Nets are lacking in the big-man department and could use Sullinger for front-court bulk and experience.

At least he has some humor about his job situation:

As it turns out, the No. 1-seeded Marquette squad would be no match for the boys from Columbus. Scarlet & Gray completely dismantled the Golden Eagles—led by former-Lakers guard Darius Johnson-Odom—beating them by a score of 81-56.

David Lighty (2006-2011) and William Buford (2008-2012) were the two most noteworthy contributors, with each former-Buckeye shooting 9 of 14 from the field for 23 and 21 points, respectively. Aaron Craft (2010-2014) did a nice job keeping the team grounded, finishing with team-highs in minutes played (36) and assists (8).

Sullinger had a respectable performance—even with scouts in tow—posting 15 points and eight rebounds.

After rolling in their Elite Eight game, Scarlet & Gray is now headed to the Final Four in Baltimore, Maryland. All remaining games will be broadcast on the main ESPN channel, with Coppin State serving as the host venue.

The Buckeyes’ alumni group will face the No. 6-seeded Challenge ALS team in the semi-finals. ALS is backed by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and is led by former-NBA players Casper Ware and Austin Daye.

The other semi-final game will feature Boeheim’s Army, a collection of Syracuse alumni, and Overseas Elite, the two-time defending TBT Champions.

You can find the complete Scarlet & Gray roster here and their official Twitter account here.

Remaining Schedule:

August 1st

#2 Scarlet & Gray vs. #6 Challenge ALS (7pm)

#1 Overseas Elite vs. #3 Boeheim’s Army (9pm)

August 3rd - $2 Million-Game

Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (7pm)

Tickets are still available for the TBT Final Four, you can buy them here.