COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A year ago, the Carmen’s Crew team of mostly Ohio State alumni earned a payday most people will never surpass in their lives. The team won the 2019 TBT championship and the $2 million grand prize which went along with it. Most of the key players took home a single payment of $140,000 for their work.
This year, Carmen’s Crew is now the target for the TBT field. Tuesday, the TBT announced the field for the tournament next month at Nationwide Arena. Carmen’s Crew awaits the winner of a first-round game between a team of former Illinois players and a team called War Tampa.
The Carmen’s Crew roster is virtually unchanged from last year, featuring former OSU stars like Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, William Buford, Dallas Lauderdale, and coach Jared Sullinger. The tournament opens July 4 with the final set for July 14.
“We aren’t shocked that we got the number one seed solely because we did win last year,” said Carmen’s Crew center Dallas Lauderdale. “We have a returning team, but we’re grateful for it and we’re excited to get it going, but at least for me, personally, this is more of a déjà vu. This isn’t the first time we’ve been the number one overall seed.” He is referring to the 2011 Buckeye team which entered the NCAA Tournament as the #1 overall seed.
Former Northland High School and Michigan star Trey Burke said late Tuesday night on his Twitter account that he will not take part in next month’s TBT Tournament at Nationwide Arena. A report from ESPN earlier Tuesday said Burke would be joining the Carmen’s Crew team, coached by Burke’s long-time friend and teammate Jared Sullinger. Several Carmen’s Crew players suggested Burke’s addition was a possibility, but added it was not a completed deal.
Burke was released by the 76ers earlier this season, although it’s possible when the NBA season resumes he could sign with another team.
The Carmen’s Crew team of mostly Ohio State alumni is the #1 seed in the TBT and the defending champion. That team is led by Aaron Craft, Job Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford. This will be the final tournament for Craft, as he will retire from pro basketball and enter medical school at OSU.
Another team with many former Buckeyes, Big X, is the 9th seed in the tournament and they will play an opening round game July 4 against the Jackson, Tn. Underdogs.
The tournament will be played without fans. Players will arrive in Columbus five days before their first game and undergo COVID-19 testing. If any player fails that test, that player’s entire team will be pulled from the tournament.
Teams will have access to practice courts in Battelle Hall and the Convention Center, so they will not need to leave the hotel “bubble” during their stay. All meals and athletic training staff will be provided to the teams.