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Official Bracket Released For The Basketball Tournament, Winner-Take-All $1,000,000 Event

Teams Seeded 1-24 in 4 Regions; Syracuse alums, SLAM, Grantland, and Josh Selby’s Baltimore Squad Take Top Spots

BOSTON, MA – July 2, 2015 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a single-elimination, five-on-five winner-take-all, open-application tournament launched in 2014, today announced the official bracket for 2015, seeding 97 teams from across the country and setting the field for 2015’s four regions.  The top seeds in each region are: Boeheim’s Army (Northeast), a group of Syracuse alumni and the leading vote-getter; Team BDB (South), organized by former top high school recruit and NBA draft pick Josh Selby and featuring some of Baltimore’s top talent; SLAM (Midwest), a reboot of last year’s runner up, Team Barstool, loaded with top overseas talent and sponsored by SLAM Magazine; and Grantland (West), featuring former NBA stars Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, and Brian Scalabrine, which was organized by San Antonio Spurs PF Matt Bonner and sponsored by the ESPN sub-site Grantland.

“Seeding 97 teams is a challenge, but we feel that the way this bracket is laid out will showcase some of America’s top basketball talent in a fair, competitive, and balanced tournament, which will undoubtedly be full of surprises, upsets, and great games,” said TBT’s Founder/CEO Jon Mugar. “The Northeast is full of top tier talent, the South is the most balanced, the Midwest is going to produce a worthy challenger for the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, and the West is going to be incredibly exciting and entertaining.”

Opening rounds begin July 10-12 in Atlanta and Los Angeles, and continue July 17-19 in Chicago and Philadelphia with the final 17 playing in Chicago again on July 23-25 before advancing on to New York to play for the Championship live on ESPN August 1 and 2. 88 opening round games will be live-streamed through TheTournament.com.

The region by region breakdown is as follows: 

  • Atlanta  (Clayton State’s Athletics & Fitness Center, July 10-12): #1 seed Team BDB, led by former national top recruit Josh Selby and featuring YouTube sensation Aquille Carr, will play the #24 seed SC Upstate RedHawks, a semi-pro team from Greenville, SC that formed in January on Friday July 10 at 1:15pm (ET). Alumni teams from UVA and Oklahoma are challenged by difficult to predict squads from all over the south. There are also a contingent of teams from the northeast who applied to play in Atlanta, including 3 time Rucker Park champions Sean Bell Allstars. A deep region, the South is perhaps the most balanced of the four, with any of the 24 having a realistic chance at advancing to the Chicago for the Super 17, which begins on Thursday July 23 on ESPNU.
  • Los Angeles (Cal State LA, July 10-12): #1 seed Grantland, which earned a first round “popularity bye,” will play its first game on Saturday July 11 at 5:45p (PT). LAUNFD, a 3 time Drew League champion featuring high level will have a tough matchup in the first round against the #24 seeded Pistol Shrimps, an all women’s team of L.A.-based comedians, actresses, and industry professionals on Friday July 10 at 7:30p (PT). Teams from Washington State (Seattle Pro Am), Colorado, Arizona, and the greater Los Angeles area will all battle for the right to advance to Chicago for the Super 17.
  • Chicago (DePaul University’s McGrath-Phillips Arena, Midwest Regional July 17-19 and Super 17 July 23-25):  2014 runners-up, Team Barstool, have rebooted and renamed themselves SLAM, sponsored by SLAM Magazine. With a cadre of top Americans overseas professionals, including former UCONN Husky Josh Boone and Florida Gators Matt Walsh and Erik Murphy, SLAM secured the top seed and will play an all women’s team from Greater Boston called the New England Falcons on Friday July 17 at 10:45am. (CT) A region in which nearly all the top seeds secured popularity byes through voting, the Midwest features alumni teams from both the college ranks and the professional. Ants Alumni, a team comprised of the 2014 D-League Champions (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), takes the number 2 seed and will play its first game on Saturday July 18 at 2:15pm (CT). Also returning from 2014 are the Illinois Hoopville Warriors, who made a Cinderella run to the quarterfinals in last year’s event and are back to do even better in 2015, and the Sconnie Legends, a group of dads from Wisconsin who happen to be pretty good at basketball, too. Both teams play on Friday July 17. The defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, led by former All BIG EAST Tim Abromitis, Ben Hansbrough, and Torin Francis, among others, have a bye and will participate automatically in the July 23-25 Super 17 as well.
  • Philadelphia (Philadelphia University July 17-19):  The loaded Northeast Region is led by Boeheim’s Army, a team of Syracuse alums (with a few others) who look primed to make a long tournament run and thrill SU fans from all over. The top vote getter, Boeheim’s Army earned a bye in addition to the top seed and will play its first game on Saturday July 18 at 7:30 pm (ET). The 2 seed, Big Apple Basketball, is a 2014 semifinalist and returns in 2015 with an even better roster, featuring Smush Parker and former Kansas NCAA Champion Russell Robinson, and will play on Saturday 7/18 at 4:00pm ET. With a host talented teams from collections of pros (City of Gods (3), DMV’s Finest (4), Free Bands (6), TYGTAL (9)), to alumni teams (North Broad Street Bullies (7) (Temple), St. Anthony HS (20), the Wrecking Crew (16) (Lehigh), the Blue & Gold Club (11)(LaSalle)), this region is sure to excite fans of all kinds.

Over 300 teams applied to make the 97 team field with each team consisting of a General Manager (GM), at least seven players, and have 100+ fan votes to be eligible. All players must be 18 or older and all games will be played under NCAA rules with two 18 minute halves.

ABOUT THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT:

Conceived by CEO Jonathan Mugar as the ultimate opportunity for fans, athletes and social media mavens to create teams and then participate in a high-stakes, professionally run and organized sporting event, The Basketball Tournament is a winner-take-all, single elimination, open competition for players 18 years of age or older.  In its first season, The Basketball Tournament drew over 100 team entries from around the country with 32 teams ultimately making the field.  Participants ranged from professional players and recent college talent to local legends and pickup basketball stars.  An overwhelming success in its launch year, the event is expanding nationwide in 2015, and doubling its prize. Among the advisors for the event are sports industry veterans Tony Ponturo of Ponturo Management Group, Andy Dolich of Dolich Consulting, and Len DeLuca of Len DeLuca & Associates, LLC. For more details visit http://www.thetournament.com.

Media Contacts:    

Fran Kirmser fran@kirmserponturo.com

Joe Favorito, Kirmser Ponturo Group fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com 201-746-0005

Bill Hofheimer/ESPN bill.hofheimer@espn.com 860-766-9589

Jim DeLorenzo (Philadelphia), 215-266-5943