A collection of former Michigan and Ohio State basketball players are in the running for a serious payday.
Big X — a team comprised of Big Ten alumni featuring former Wolverines Duncan Robinson, Mark Donnal, Stu Douglass and Jon Horford and former Buckeyes Andrew Dakich, Jae’Sean Tate and Kam Williams — will be participating in the 2018 edition of The Basketball Tournament, a 72-team, single-elimination, winner-take-all event.
Big X received one of nine automatic bids via fan support in the Midwest Region. The team, which is ranked as a No. 4 seed, will open play at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, against the No. 13-seeded Chattanooga Lookouts. The game will be streamed online on ESPN3.
If Big X wins, it will advance to the second round and face the winner of No. 5 seed Always a Brave-No. 12 seed Primetime Players at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 22, with a spot in the Super 16 on the line.
The top seed in the Midwest is Scarlet and Grey, Ohio State’s alumni team that reached the semifinals last year and features former Buckeyes William Buford and Aaron Craft. The Midwest Region also includes Team Rondo, which will be coached by NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo, and Team Fredette, which will feature former National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.
The TBT, now in its fifth year, is comprised mainly of former college players who play in an NCAA Tournament-style bracket until one team is left standing to claim the $2 million prize. All games will be televised on ESPN’s family of networks.
Big X’s roster also includes former Wisconsin forward Vitto Brown, ex-Clemson guard Gabe Devoe, former Illinois big man Nnanna Egwu and ex-Wesleyan University point guard Harry Rafferty. The general manager and coach of the team is Jay Shunnar, the boys’ varsity basketball coach at Ann Arbor Huron High.
The tournament will start with the West Region in Spokane, Wash., on June 29 and end with the championship game in Baltimore on Aug. 3. Tickets for the Midwest Region can be purchased at www.freshtix.com.