Wichita to host 2021 TBT Regional

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Easton Thompson

Aftershocks’ Cleanthony Early jumps for the basket during their game against Sideline Cancer in the TBT tournament hosted at Charles Koch Arena.

The Basketball Tournament is coming back to Wichita.

The $1 million winner-take-all basketball tournament that is broadcasted on ESPN has selected the city of Wichita to host a regional for a second time. The eighth annual tournament has slated the Wichita games to be played from July 16-20 inside Charles Koch Arena. The announcement also means Wichita State’s alumni team, the AfterShocks, will be making their return to the tournament after not competing last year.

When the tournament came to Wichita in 2019, they broke the all-time regional four day record for attendance – bringing in 20,000 fans. Opening night drew a TBT record crowd of 7,184 fans.

“The last time the Aftershocks played a round one game in TBT, it shattered attendance records,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said in a statement. “From that moment on, we knew we found a great home for TBT basketball in Wichita. We are excited to partner with Wichita State and return to Koch Arena this summer to experience that passion once again.”

In the release, the AfterShocks announce that Connor Frankamp and Rashard Kelly will be returning to the roster, while Markis McDuffie and Samajae Haynes-Jones will be appearing for the first time this summer. Zach Bush and JR Simon will serve as co-general managers for the team. Additonal roster announcements will be made at a later date.

“Our fans, as usual, set the standard for excitement and support when we broke TBT attendance records in front of a national television audience on ESPN,” Wichita State men’s basketball head coach Isaac Brown said in a statement. “We love our former Shockers players and no other fan base across this country shows it better. TBT allows these guys to showcase their talent and play in front of the greatest fans in the world in one of the best venues in college basketball. There’s no better place for TBT to be played than in Wichita!”

First round games will be played at Koch Arena on Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17. Second round games will take place on Sunday, July 18 and two third round games will be on Tuesday, July 20.

Two teams from the Wichita regional along with six other teams from the other three regionals will advance to Championship Weekend in Dayton, Ohio. Those games will be held at the University of Dayton Arena from July 31-August 3.

“We’re eager to welcome TBT and the AfterShocks back to Wichita this summer after an incredibly successful event in 2019,” WSU senior associate athletic director Brad Pittman said. “The support Shocker fans show for former Wichita State athletes is incredible, and we’re looking forward to giving the AfterShocks another opportunity to play in front of a home crowd at Charles Koch Arena.”