What to know as The Basketball Tournament nears tip off in Wichita


Matt Crow

February 24, 2018: Wichita State center Shaquille Morris reacts after colliding with an SMU player Saturday at SMU.

Starting on July 25, The Basketball Tournament will be bringing back basketball to Charles Koch Arena this summer.

TBT, an annual tournament for non-NBA contracted players, brings the sport back to life during the dry period after the NCAA and NBA seasons, giving college and professional fans more basketball to watch during the summer. Mostly made up of college alumni teams, the tournament brings back familiar faces that may have fallen off the average fan’s radar since their departure from their prime collegiate playing days.

From former NBA players and college legends, The Basketball Tournament also gives looks to the players, who may still be chasing for an American professional basketball dream, a chance in front of professional scouts to prove their worth. Last season, Jimmer Fredette proved himself in front of Phoenix Suns scouts, locking up an NBA contract for the former Brigham Young star.

Here’s what to know for TBT and the Wichita Regional:

What is TBT?

The Basketball Tournament is a 64-team single elimination tournament, running from July 19-August 9, with a winner-take-all $2 million.

Games take place on ESPN networks starting on July 19 and run into the month of August. This year’s edition of TBT is the sixth in history.

Out of the $2 million grand prize, the winning team’s fan base takes home 10 percent of it, which is $200,000.

How does the tournament work?

Just like the NCAA tournament, if a team loses, they are eliminated. There are eight teams that are selected as regional host sites, with eight teams in each regional.

This year’s regional are in Salt Lake City, hosted by Team Fredette, Wichita, hosted by the Aftershocks, Memphis, hosted by Memphis Alumni, Lexington, hosted by Bluegrass Boys, Greensboro, hosted by Team CP3, Richmond, hosted by Ram Nation, Columbus, hosted by Ohio State Alumni, and Syracuse, hosted by Boeheim’s Army.

The eight regional champions then advance to Chicago for the TBT Championship Weekend.

Who’s on the Aftershocks?

The city of Wichita was announced as a host site for TBT back in January 29, meaning this was the year a Wichita-based team would be making its debut. The team name, Aftershocks, refers to past Shocker players that are eager to come back and play in front of the Shocker faithful.

The Aftershocks team includes notable former Shockers Toure’ Murray, Cleanthony Early, Shaq Morris, Malcolm Armstead, Tekele Cotton, Clevin Hannah, Rashard Kelly, Conner Frankamp, Zach Bush, J.T. Durley, Garrett Stutz, and last year’s graduate assistant coach J.R. Simon.

Shannon Shorter, a former guard from North Texas, will also play with the newly founded team. He currently plays professionally in Korea.

Who else is playing in Wichita?

Wichita and Charles Koch Arena was granted a spot as a regional host in this summer’s edition of TBT. WSU’s alumni team, the Aftershocks, are the No. 2 seed in the region, with a first round match up against the No. 7 seeded Iowa United team made up of Iowa, Iowa State and Drake graduates.

The first, and only, female participant will play in the Wichita Regional. 2019 national college women’s player of the year Megan Gustafson will suit up for Iowa United, WSU’s first opponent.

Eight total teams will step foot onto Devlin Court this summer: Golden Eagles, Marquette alumni , Self Made, Kansas alumni, Aftershocks, Team Colorado, Colorado’s alumni team, Purple and Black, Kansas State’s alumni, Sideline Cancer, Iowa United and the Fort Hood Wounded Warriors who feature recent Oklahoma graduate Rashard Odomes.

Notable talent in the Wichita Regional includes former NBA players Dwight Buycks for the Golden Eagles, Darrell Arthur with Self Made, Early and Murray with Aftershocks and Chris Copeland and Marcus Hall with Team Colorado.

For Self Made, Jayhawk legends Perry Ellis, Tyshawn Taylor, Landen Lucas, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson will all suit up in their famously known scarlet and blue.

ESPN released its rankings for all 64 participating teams on June 11. The Aftershocks came in at No. 15, the third best in the region behind No. 5 Golden Eagles and No. 9 Self Made. The No. 1 overall seed Overseas Elite is 25-0 all-time in the tournament, with three straight championships.

When do the Aftershocks play?

The Wichita Regional starts on Thursday, July 25. Wichita State’s alumni team kicks off their first TBT with a 8:00 p.m. CT game on July 25 against Iowa United. The game will broadcast on ESPN. A win in the first round could propose a long-awaited match up with Self Made. The Regional Championship will tip off at 4:00 p.m. CT on July 28.