Big X's mad dash for cash ends in second round of TBT
Big X was looking to pull off a dramatic comeback for the second straight game in The Basketball Tournament.
This time, the late rally fell just short as the No. 12-seeded Primetime Players came out on top, 70-67, to put an unceremonious end to No. 4 seed Big X’s run in the second round of the $2 million, winner-take-all tournament Sunday at The Capital Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Terell Smith hit a 3-pointer to win it for the Primetime Players in a game that featured an Elam Ending, with the first team to reach 69 points declared the winner.
“I think the Elam Ending worked for us," said Primetime Players' Chris Moore, who had 14 points. "We held on, played tough defense, got the opportunity to hit the last shot and we did.”
Big X, a predominately Big Ten alumni team that features several former Wolverines, had two chances to advance in the Midwest Region and into the Super 16 after Gabe DeVoe (Clemson) splashed a 3-pointer to pull ahead 67-66.
On the first possession, DeVoe turned the ball over when he had the ball poked away from behind as he drove into the lane. Then after Primetime Players tied it at 67 on a free throw to set up a next basket wins scenario, Vitto Brown (Wisconsin) got the ball in the post but his hook shot in the lane came up short.
Smith (30 points) then delivered the dagger on the other end and dashed Big X’s bid for a major payday.
Heading into the fourth quarter, though, Big X's shot to stamp its ticket into the Super 16 appeared bleak as it trailed the Primetime Players, 62-48.
But just like it did in its first-round victory over the Chattanooga Trenches, Big X erased the double-digit deficit with a 14-0 run that was capped with back-to-back 3-pointers by DeVoe and ex-Wolverine Mark Donnal to knot it at 62, putting the Elam Ending and target score of 69 into effect.
Brown finished with 28 points and eight rebounds to lead Big X, which lost despite shooting 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from 3-point range. DeVoe added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Harry Rafferty (Wesleyan) scored 11, and former Wolverines Andrew Dakich, Stuart Douglass, Jon Horford and Donnal combined for 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.