The Greensboro Coliseum’s Fieldhouse will play host to an eight-team regional in The Basketball Tournament starting on Friday.
Organized by Chris Paul’s Team CP3, the regional features teams with several former NBA players, current international stars and many with local and regional collegiate ties.
Here are a few questions and answers that will make sense of TBT and why it’s worth catching in Greensboro.
Well, what is TBT?
Now a 64-team tournament, the first tournament was staged in 2014 with $500,000 on the line in a winner-take-all final concluding a 32-team tournament. Since 2016, the prize money has increased to $2 million, due in large part to TBT’s television deal with ESPN, which broadcasts games online and on television.
Who plays in TBT?
It’s open to anyone, but active NBA players don’t play. Instead, they serve as team owners, boosters or, in many cases, coaches, as Chris Paul will do with CP3 this weekend. Generally, teams consist of players who have been professionals either in the NBA, G-League or international leagues, plus former college players. In 2018, more than 60 players with NBA experience played in TBT.
Find a complete listing of teams and rosters here.
Who’s going to be in Greensboro?
We’ll break down the rosters in detail later in the week, but expect to see Paul, Juan Dixon, Andre Drummond and Jeff McInnis working as coaches this weekend. On the court, Kyle Hines returns from Russia to lead a team that features former Florida star Nick Calathes. Gabe Devoe leads a team of former Clemson players, while Kennedy Meeks, PJ Hairston, Sam Hunt and Reggie Johnson are all on the CP3 roster, among several other recognizable names.
What are the rules of the game?
Generally, TBT games are played by college rules except for playing four nine-minute quarters instead of two halves. Players foul out on their sixth foul of the game and each team receives four timeouts per game.
The biggest change, however, is the Elam Ending.
What’s the Elam Ending?
Hate how the end of games gets slowed down by intentional fouling? So does Nick Elam. That’s why, in 2004, he set out to find a better way to end basketball games after finding that only four percent of college teams were able to use intentional fouling and missed free throws to stage a comeback.
In the Elam Ending, the game clock is turned off at the first whistle with fewer than four minutes remaining. From there, eight points is added to the leading team’s score, providing a “target score” that will end the game.
Thus, the Elam Ending means the game will be played out until the end, rewarding teams for playing actual good basketball rather than winning or losing a free-throw shooting contest. Every game now ends on a made basket.
How are the teams chosen?
Eight teams buy in to host regionals. From there, the remaining 56 spots are filled at through an application process, decided by TBT’s organizers.
Where do they go from here?
The winner of the Greensboro regional heads to Chicago for the quarterfinal round on Aug. 1 and 2 meeting the winner of the Syracuse regional. Semifinals are set for Aug. 4 and the championship on Aug. 6.
What’s the schedule?
Four games are scheduled for Friday at The Fieldhouse, with the first beginning at 3 p.m. Friday’s winners meet on Saturday at 5 and 7 p.m. with the regional championship game set for 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Who's the team to beat?
ESPN ranked all 64 teams last month, placing Team Hines at the top spot among teams in Greensboro. Overseas Elite, which has won the past four tournaments, is the top-ranked team and is expected to defend its crown.