The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all competition that has grown from quaint summer filler to a premier event, announced Wednesday its plans to move forward with its 2020 tournament using a revised format.
Typically a 64-team tournament comprised of college alumni teams and overseas professionals, with last year’s winning team taking home $2 million, the 2020 event will be decided by 24 teams over 10 days in one location to mitigate risks presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of a regional format of host cities and a schedule that plays out over a month, TBT says it will put on this summer’s event under quarantine in a city yet to be determined.
“After reviewing all available science and data, working with experts, and receiving support from our partners, we’ve devised a plan we are confident protects the health and safety of our participants and staff to the greatest extent possible,” said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT, in a news release. “At the forefront is our single-elimination format, ability to test and quarantine the field and keep teams separate at all times. We look forward to hosting an incredible group of teams and crowning a champion this summer.”
TBT says players and staff will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to the host city, teams will be kept in quarantine and regularly screened for symptoms, and players will be tested again after the quarantine period. A positive test will disqualify a player’s entire team from the event.
TBT has included many Utah ties in past tournaments, from Jimmer Fredette’s headline-grabbing appearances, Weber State’s Wasatch Front alumni team competing in 2017, Team Utah alumni team regularly playing and more.
The tournament says 114 teams have applied for 2020, including returning champion Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni), the AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni), Best Virginia (West Virginia Alumni), Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni), Red Scare (Dayton Alumni), as well as teams from Purdue, Illinois, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State.
Also included in the 2020 field of eligible applicants is Utah Valor, a team that includes Weber State alums Davion Berry, Ryan Richardson and Brenden Morris.
Before Carmen’s Crew won the 2019 event, Overseas Elite won four straight championships. The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni won the inaugural TBT in 2014.
The 24-team field will be announced in June.