The Basketball Tournament

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The Basketball Tournament
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event The Basketball Tournament 2017
The Basketball Tournament logo.png
Sport Basketball
Founded 2014
Inaugural season 2014
No. of teams 64
Countries United States
Continent North America
Most recent
Overseas Elite
TV partner(s) ESPN
Official website

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is an open-application, single-elimination tournament played each summer in the United States, currently featuring 64 teams. It was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Mugar.[1]


Teams in TBT are arranged by the general managers, sometimes based on which schools the players attended and which teams they had experience competing for. The 11 teams in each region with the most registered fans according to the tournament's website are entered into the bracket. Three teams in each region are then selected for at-large bids, one team in each region gains entry through a charity component, and the returning semifinalist from each region in 2015 gains automatic entry into the field.[2] In 2016, this field included 64 teams.[3] The bracket is divided into four regions and each region has 16 teams, all of which are seeded. The regionals take place in Los Angeles, Charlotte, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The four semifinalists from 2015 receive automatic entry into the 2016 field.[4] The winner of the championship game, which will be televised on ESPN on August 2, 2016, receives $2 million in prize money. Ninety-five percent goes to the team's personnel or to charity and 5% goes to its fans.[3] The prize money was $1,000,000 in 2015 and $500,000 in 2014.[1]


TBT has previously had a number of current and former National Basketball Association (NBA) players participate, including Dahntay Jones, Mike Bibby, Royal Ivey, Matt Bonner, and Brian Scalabrine.[5][6] Several alumni of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL) also have experience in the tournament, such as Anthony Anderson and Quinnel Brown. The league's commissioner, Dave Magley, said, "We are pleased at the representation of our league's membership in The Basketball Tournament. Several players from last year’s tournament signed with our league, including NBL Rookie of the Year Rashad Whack. The Basketball Tournament not only offers our players a chance to compete alongside and against NBA talent, D-League talent and international talent, but it also offers our scouts an opportunity to spot up-and-coming talent for our teams in the upcoming season."[7] TBT has also received support from players such as Kyle Lowry in the past.[8]

In 2016, NBA players John Wall, Kristaps Porzingis, Rudy Gay, Shaun Livingston, Chandler Parsons and Austin Rivers are just some of the players to serve as a booster for different teams.[9]


The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni won the first-ever TBT championship, defeating Team Barstool, 72–68. The team, represented by several former Notre Dame Fighting Irish players, donated $40,000 to Coaches vs. Cancer.[8] On August 2, 2015, Overseas Elite defeated Team 23 to take the 2015 TBT title.[10] Overseas Elite was able to repeat as 2016 TBT champions one year later by defeating Team Colorado to claim the $2 million prize. On August 3, 2017, Overseas Elite beat Team Challenge ALS 86–83 to become 3 time TBT champions. Ex Arizona alum Kyle Fogg earned the title of TBT's Most Valuable Player.

Year Champion Score Runner-Up
2014 Notre Dame Fighting Alumni 72–68 Team Barstool
2015 Overseas Elite 67–65 Team 23
2016 Overseas Elite 77–72 Team Colorado
2017 Overseas Elite 86–83 Team Challenge ALS
Teams Win Loss Total Year(s) won Year(s) lost
Overseas Elite 3 0 3 2015, 2016, 2017
Notre Dame Fighting Alumni 1 0 1 2014
Team 23 0 1 1 2015
Team Barstool 0 1 1 2014
Team Colorado 0 1 1 2016
Team Challenge ALS 0 1 1 2017


  1. ^ a b Lowe, Zach. "Welcome to The Basketball Tournament, a $500K Winner-Take-All Extravaganza". Grantland. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "About TBT". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "2015 Bracket". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Duffy, Thomas. "The Basketball Tournament 2015: Dates, Schedule, Bracket and Players". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Grantland". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "NBL Canada Players & Alumni Well-Represented In "The Basketball Tournament"". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "2014 Recap". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Ryan, Kevin. "Team wins $1 million in winner-take-all hoops tournament". Retrieved 2 August 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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