Update One (12:54pm): We made it to the semifinals of The Basketball Tournament. Four teams remain in contention for the grand prize of $500,000. Also at stake today, the potential for home court advantage in the championship game, as a fan vote will decide the location of the final. Can Team Barstool bring the title game north to Bean Town? Or will the Big Apple Ballers take it to the Bronx or Brooklyn? A win by the Fighting Alumni could mean a trip to South Bend. And PeacePlayers International could take us anywhere around the world.
So all of that is on the line. Also, half a million.
We are five minutes away from tip of the game between Team Barstool and Big Apple Ballers. The arena speakers just started playing “Timber” by Kesha (feat. Pitbull) so the mood for high stakes basketball is officially set. Get ready.
More updates to come.
Update Two (1:48pm):
Team Barstool wins the jump ball but neither team can make shots early. Forward Corsley Edwards sinks free throws to give Big Apple Ballers the first points of the game. Team Barstool responds with a three and an open look jump shot. The teams are playing each other close. Team Barstool up 15-12 with 12:30 left in the first half.
Big Apple Ballers have a possession with two consecutive offensive rebounds but can’t take away any points. Matt Walsh misses a three at the other end for Team Barstool. Next possession, Smush dishes to Lance Goulbourne for the layup and Smush follows that up with a layup of his own.
The Ballers are controlling the boards so far, getting offensive rebounds on almost every trip down the court. Tie game at 18 with 9:48 remaining. Team Barstool changes that quick as Josh Boone puts down the alley oop. Coursley Edwards responds with a thrown down of his own. Game now tied 22-22 with 8:11 left.
Goulbourne and Dahntay Jones trade baskets at their respective ends, but Jones gets the call for an and-1. He sinks his free throw. Timeout Ballers. 7:44 left, Team Barstool up 25-24.
A series of makes for Team Barstool and misses from BAB leads to the first real run of the game. The run was capped by a three at the hands of Andre Barret. Team Barstool now up 36-28 with 4:15 left.
Edwards misses two free throws after getting fouled in the lane. On the other end, Team Barstool works the ball around the outside twice before Matt Walsh settles in for an open three. He misses. Jones and Edwards trade baskets again. Edwards’ post game is solid, with a turnaround move that he’s now hit on two straight trips down the floor. Team Barstool keeps matching shot for shot thought, and their lead stays at eight. 40-32 Team Barstool with 1:22 left.
The Ballers work the ball to Edwards in the post again and he is fouled on a bit of a weak call. He hits both.
Team Barstool gets a basket and Lance Goulbourne travels underneath on The Ballers next possession. Barstool ball. McGrath holds for last shot of the half. He squares up and sinks a long two right before the buzzer sounds. Halftime: Team Barstool 44, Big Apple Ballers 34.
More updates to come.
Update Three (2:10pm): Big Apple Ballers get ball to start the second half. Game on.
Smush gets the ball to Edwards in the post and he throws the ball down. Barstool comes back with a mean pick and roll, but McGrath travels before he can get the pass off. Smush goes to Edwards in the post again, but he kicks out to beyond the arc this time. Miss. Josh Boone hits a jumper and the other end. Smush Parker matches him on his next look.
46-38, 16:19 left.
Dahntay Jones hits one for Bartsool from the left side. Matt Walsh adds on a three from pro range. Next possession Walsh puts up another three but airs it. Jones catches the miss though and gets fouled by Smush on his attempted put back. He misses both free throws. 51-38 Barstool with 15 minutes left.
The Ballers aren’t getting the rebounds they were in the first half on the offensive end. Dahntay Jones hits a three. Ballers go to Edwards underneath again but Team Barstool has started bringing help on him down low. He kicks out and Goulbourne is fouled on his drive. He hits one of his shots. After a Barstool miss, Smush drives the lane and sinks a layup. Barstool responds with a beauty of a drive and dump from Jones to Justin Burrell who puts in a reverse layup.
At the other end, Smush hits two free throws. 56-43 with 12:23 remaining.
Burrell gets the ball underneath again and throws down an almost-posterization dunk over Smush. Parker hits his shot on the next Ballers possession. Timeout Ballers. 58-45, 11:39 left.
After trading misses, Barstool gets a 2-1 in transition. Barrett draws the defender and passes to Matt Walsh who sinks the layup and is fouled. He misses the freebie.
Big Apple works the ball around, eventually getting inside where Goulbourne makes a layup. They get a stop, and after a loose ball Parker passes behind the back to Edwards who puts it down. Barstool comes back with a McGrath three and a Walsh open layup in transition. 65-49 with nine minutes to go. El Presidente might get some garbage time minutes.
Smush hits a three. Edwards gets points. Ballers get another stop and Smush is fouled while driving the lane. 7:42 left. Parker hits both to cut the BAB deficit to nine. Walsh comes back with another three for Barstool. Swish. Edwards gets another turnaround to fall underneath for the Ballers. Jones misses a tough layup and the Ballers work their possession, and Goulbourne gets an open look from beyond the arc. He hits. Ballers get another stop. Goulbourne cuts underneath the basket and hits a turnaround.
68-63 Barstool, 5:40 left.
Barstool is slowing down their possession, already working the clock a bit, not making a move for the basket until the shot clock is down to 15 seconds. Matt Walsh has a beauty of a drive and hits the layup. The Ballers turn the ball over on their next possession. Timeout. 4:30 left in the game. Team Barstool 70, Big Apple Ballers 63. Expecting Barstool to slow down on offense and work the clock as much as possible.
Barstool passes the ball back and forth in the backcourt until 10 left on the shot clock. Walsh misses a three. Smush gets the rebounds and hits a three at the other end. Barstool works the ball again. McGrath airs a three. Ballers ball, down for, three minutes left.
Edwards hits from underneath again. Now a two point game. Barstool still working the clock, but moving more off the ball. Barrrett drives and misses a layup, but Ballers turn the ball over. Barstool sitting on the ball again. McGrath hits a floater with 4 seconds left in the shot clock.
72-68 with 1:24 left. Ballers ball. Timeout.
Ballers coming out of the timeout. Edwards underneath again. He backs his guy down and kicks out to Luke Bonner for three. Hits. One point game.
Jones with the ball on the other end. He dances a bit, until Team Barstool calls a full timeout.
72-71. 50.9 seconds left. The Ballers should get another possession.
Barstool gets fouled and the shot clock is unplugged, but Barstool isn’t in the bonus yet. Ballers have to foul. They do. In the mayhem of the next inbound, Walsh tries to put up a three while getting fouled, but the ref doesn’t buy it. Next inbound, Jones gets trapped on the sideline and had to call a timeout before falling out of bounds. The next foul on the Ballers will send Barstool to the line for a one-and-one.
The foul comes in on Jones.
He goes to the line. Hits the first. Hits the second.
Ballers bring the ball up. Luke Bonner travels, but the refs miss the call and is fouled in the act of a three pointer.
Holy shit. Luke Bonner has three free throws to tie the game.
Bonner hits the first.
Bonner hits the second.
Bonner hits the third.
Jones misses on his drive and WE ARE HEADING TO OVERTIME.
More updates to come.
Update Four (2:34pm): Overtime.
Ballers win the jump ball. Parker dribbles in the back court and lets the clock run. Russell Robinson comes up short on the three. Bonner goes to get the rebound, but gets called for a foul against Walsh. He goes to the line for one-and-one. Misses the first. Still tied. Three minutes left.
Smush sits on the ball again, letting the shot clock get down to 20. They try to work it to Edwards, but he misses the hook shot. Matt Walsh drives in transition and gets fouled hard by Smush Parker while going up for the layup. He sinks it, goes to the line, and finishes the three point play.
Parker THROWS DOWN on the other end and the crowd erupts. One point game. Russell Robinson tips the ball and almost gets the steal but Barstool recovers. Walsh sinks one off the glass.
Edwards drives and goes up to throw down a dunk. Jones goes up and stops him. He gets called for the foul, but it was close to a clean block. Edwards goes to the line. He makes one. Barstool leads 79-77 with 1:30 left.
Walsh sits on the ball. Shot clock is down to ten. Five. Walsh steps back and sinks a three.
82-77 Team Barstool. 51.3 seconds left. Big Apple Ballers with the ball.
They inbound to Smush, defended by Jones. He misses and there is a tussle for the rebound that sends to ball out of bounds off Barstool. Ballers retain possession. Edwards gets an open look at a three, but clanks off the back of the rim. Ballers foul Jones immediately and send him to the line for two.
He makes one. Six point game.
Russell Robinson takes what the defense is giving him and drives for the layup. They foul again on the inbound, now sending Barrett to the stripe.
He makes both. Sixteen seconds left. Robinson drives for another quick layup and the Ballers foul Jones again.
9 seconds left. Jones makes both. still a six point game.
Ballers don’t have an answer.
Final Score: Team Barstool 87, Big Apple Ballers 81.
The championship game might be heading to Boston.
More updates to come.
Update Four (3:43pm):
Starting lineups are being announced for the second semifinal matchup. International PeacePlayers v. Notre Dame Fighting Almuni. The pregame song this time was “Red Lights” by Tiesto. It is almost as bad as Pitbull’s verse on “Timber”. But enough of my musical preferences. Irish win the jump ball.
PeacePlayers come up with a stop. Darryl Monroe hits a turnaround and is fouled. He makes his freebie. 3-0 PeacePlayers. The Irish work the ball and the refs miss another travel. David Hawkins hits a three for the PeacePlayers. Tyrone Nash responds with a long two for Notre Dame. 6-2, three minutes into the game.
The Irish snag a steal in the backcourt and Nash converts the transition layup. PeacePlayers forward Terence Morris misses a three, but they get a stop at the other end. PP works the ball around. Morris misses another three. They get the offensive board but cannot make it count. The Irish put up another quick two. 6-6, 13:35 remaining.
The teams trade a few misses up and down the court until Ryan Ayers hits from the corner for three. PeacePlayers turn the ball over and give up an easy basket to Irish guard Russell Carter. PeacePlayers put the ball out of bounds in their third consecutive turnover. Chris Thomas makes them pay, swishing the three. Peaceplayers commit yet another turnover, now four in a row by my count. The Irish swish another three, this one from the hands of Russell Carter.
Timeout PeacePlayers, down 17-6. 10:51 left in the first. They need to settle down. The turnovers have been mostly caused by rushing the ball and driving into too much traffic.
Out of the timeout, the PeacePlayers turn it over again, this time simply getting stripped. Ayers misses a three for the Irish. PeacePlayers slow it down a bit and work the ball to Morris underneath. He makes the layup, scoring PP’s first points in what feels like ages. ND immediately responds with another easy basket.
Notre Dame guard Chris Thomas shows off some fancy footwork before drilling a jumper from the elbow. PeacePlayers with another miss on their end. Carter gets fouled while trying a putback on a teammate’s shot. He makes one. Nate Brown gets a three to fall for the PeacePlayers. Russell Carter matches him for the Irish.
25-11 Notre Dame, 6:56 left in the first.
Irish add another three while I’m checking the time on the scoreboard. PeacePlayers get called for the travel. Coach Popp would be livid. Russell Carter tries a three from outer space and airs it out of bounds. PeacePlayers lose their handle on the ball. It goes out of bounds off the Irish, but the refs miss the call and award Notre Dame possession. Timeout Irish.
I want to mention real quick that besides the missed travels (which no one calls anyways) the refs here have been very solid. The only calls I mention by them are the ones they miss, and they have been few and far between. Good job, good effort.
Notre Dame turns a few more PP miscues into points. The Irish are already in the bonus with five minutes left. Ayers sinks both sides of his one-and-one. 32-11 Notre Dame with 4:46 left.
The next minute is more of the same. At one point, PeacePlayers put the ball up for grabs again and a bit of chaos follows. Notre Dame shows a mad amount of hustle, two players laying out to keep the ball moving towards their basket. They are rewarded with an open layup. PeacePlayers call another timeout. 3:44 left, Irish up 38-11.
PeacePlayers finally get one in and set up a soft press, trying to trap in the corners when the ND guards cross midcourt. The Fighting Alumni break the press with relative ease and draw a foul underneath. Somewhere in the scuffle, a second foul was called. Nash makes three of his four free throws.
PeacePlayer big man Fisher moves with authority under the basket and gets three the hard way. Tory Jackson drives and finds real estate in the lane, making an easy bucket. Monroe responds with a nice baseline jumper for the PeacePlayers. On Notre Dame’s ensuing possession they work the clock down with just a minute remaining in the half, but can’t get their shot to fall. Draughen makes the extra pass underneath for the PeacePlayers and Fisher makes the easy bucket. The Irish are fouled on the other end and Jackson shoot two.
After his second shot, Monroe and Hawkins both get hit with technical fouls for saying something he apparently shouldn’t have said. The Irish continue to extend their lead. Fisher hits a three for the PeacePlayers, but he could have held for last possession of the half. He puts it up with ten seconds left and delivers. Tory Jackson makes the most of those extra seconds, sneaks to the corner, and hits another three as the buzzer sounds.
Halftime: Notre Dame Fighting Alumni 52, PeacePlayers International 23.
“Timber” is back on in the arena. #blessed
More updates to come.
PeacePlayers ball to start the second half. About a third of the crowd has filtered out, as the Irish seem to have the game in hand. Play from both sides is much less inspired on both sides, but Zachary Hillesland has a fancy spin move right underneath the basket for Notre Dame. Charron Fisher comes back with a layup for the PeacePlayers.
The Irish work the ball to Ayers wide open from distance and he connects. Terence Morris backs down his defender and gets two points back for the PeacePlayers. For what feels like the first time all game, Notre Dame turns the ball. Fisher is fouled on his drive to the basket and hits both of his shots.
57-29 Irish, 14:47 left.
PeacePlayers go to the press on the ensuing inbound and force another turnover. Charron Fisher hits the lay up and is fouled. He completes the three point play. PP comes up with another steal, but Fisher can’t make the three. PeacePlayers are all over ND on defense, but their commitment leaves Ayers open in the corner for another three. Fisher responds with a three of his own. The Irish come back with another three, this one from Rob Kurz.
Another technical is called, and the crowd is displeased. The same ref has now T’d up four players in the day’s two games, and none of them have seemed totally necessary watching from courtside.
66-38, 11:32 to go.
PeacePlayers need a miracle. The Irish are trying to slow down their possessions, but PeacePlayer defenders keep getting close enough to get the refs to start counting. Notre Dame uses the space this generates to get open looks to a fairly solid degree of success. Lots of open threes after slash and kicks.
75-47, 7:24 left in the game.
The teams trade baskets but nothing of note. No miracle run by the PeacePlayers.
85-59, 3:08 left in the game. The lead has remained between 27-32 for the duration.
Give credit to the PeacePlayers defense, they stayed close to their men and chased down loose balls all while the game was well out of hand.
They call the game over with 1:17 remaining in the game. Final Score: Notre Dame Fighting Alumni 91, PeacePlayers International 61.
The $500,000 game is officially set. On June 28th, Team Barstool will go head-to-head with the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni with half a million dollars at stake. The game will take place at a location decided by fan vote.
Thank you for following along with me throughout the course of The Basketball Tournament. Hope to see you back here for the title game.
More updates to come.