RICHMOND, Va., January 29, 2019 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the $2 million, summer event televised live on ESPN, today announced that Richmond is one of eight Regional sites for the sixth edition of its winner-take-all tournament.
VCU, which hosted the TBT South Regional in 2018, was selected to host a Regional to be played July 26-28 at the Siegel Center. Ram Nation, primarily comprised of former VCU players, is one of eight “host” teams admitted by TBT before it opens its application period to create memorable, college-like atmospheres for home and visiting teams alike for Rounds 1-3.
“Having TBT in the Siegel Center at VCU is an honor, especially watching and supporting our former players,” said Mike Rhoades, men’s basketball coach at VCU. “It’s a great tournament with a lot of great people, and to have Ram Nation out to support our former players is nothing but special.”
Added Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT: “The fans and the atmosphere last year at the Siegel Center were off the charts. We’re excited to bring TBT back to the ‘Stu’ and one of college basketball’s most passionate fan bases, and we know that visiting teams will relish playing in that environment and enjoy all that Richmond has to offer.”
Ram Nation has reached the quarterfinals of TBT each of the past two years, only to be eliminated by Overseas Elite, the four-time TBT defending champion.
“Ram Nation as a team and family, and especially me being from the city of Richmond and having the nickname ‘The Mayor,’ appreciate being able to play in the Siegel Center in Richmond,” said Brandon Rozzell, a Ram Nation mainstay who ranks seventh in VCU history with 193 3-pointers. “Our families, and more specifically my kids, get to see me play live, which is not possible while I’m overseas. So, thank you TBT for having us as a host city.”
Four games will be played at VCU’s Siegel Center on Friday, July 26, with the winners advancing to the Regional semifinals on Saturday, July 27. The Regional final will take place on Sunday, July 28 – the winner will advance to Championship Weekend at DePaul University in Chicago Aug. 1-6.
“I’ve been saying for the past year how much I miss playing at the ‘Stu,’” said JaQuan Lewis, who starred at VCU from 2013-17. “I’ve played in games all over the world, but there’s no place like the Siegel Center. I’m excited to be able to put on that black and gold and play in front of Ram Nation! There’s no place like home.”
TBT games will air live on ESPN networks beginning Friday, July 19, with Regional play beginning in four cities. Puma once again will serve as an Official Partner in 2019.
Regional Host Cities
Columbus, hosted by Ohio State Alumni – July 19-21
Lexington, hosted by Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky Alumni) – July 19-21
Greensboro, hosted by Team CP3 (Chris Paul’s team) – July 19-21
Memphis, hosted by Memphis Alumni – July 19-21
Salt Lake City, hosted by Team Fredette (Jimmer Fredette’s team) – July 25-27
Wichita, hosted by AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni) – July 25-28
Syracuse, hosted by Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni) – July 26-28
Richmond, hosted by Ram Nation (VCU Alumni) – July 26-28
Championship Weekend in Chicago
Quarterfinals Day 1 – Thursday, Aug. 1, 7p EDT & 9p EDT (Chicago)
Quarterfinals Day 2 – Friday, Aug. 2, 7p EDT & 9p EDT (Chicago)
Semifinals – Sunday, Aug. 4, 12p EDT & 2p EDT (DePaul University)
$2 Million, Winner-Take-All Championship – Tuesday, Aug. 6, 9p EDT (Chicago)
*Game times subject to change
TBT 2019 will feature a 64-team bracket of professional basketball players, with college alumni teams, international basketball stars, ex-NBA players, future NBA players and others competing in a single-elimination 5-on-5 tournament. Anyone can apply to enter a team – the application period opens on March 1, and the full TBT bracket will be announced June 11.
Fans win 10 percent, or $200,000, of the $2 million prize. And for the first time, each of the eight Regional champions will earn a prize equal to 25 percent of that Region’s ticket sales.
Last year, more than 60 players with NBA experience played in TBT, including multiple former lottery picks, NBA Champions and All-Stars. Sixteen TBT 2017 players signed deals with NBA teams in 2017-18. Overseas Elite, a dynasty team of American stars playing in top leagues around the world, won for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, running their record to 25-0 and taking home an astounding $7 million in the process. They will be back to defend their title, although their Region has yet to be determined.
For tickets or more information, visit www.thetournament.com.