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The Basketball Tournament is coming to FOX, FS1 and FS2 after a multi-year agreement was announced on Thursday.

It’s a unique summertime basketball event that is highly competitive, undoubtedly in no small part due to the $1 million prize that goes to the winning team. To help you prepare for TBT, here is a primer.

What is TBT?

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is a 64-team, open-application, single-elimination tournament played across the U.S. each summer since 2014. Now in its 11th year, TBT has paid out more than $13M in prize money to 10 champions over the years. 

Previous TBT champions have included college alumni teams from Notre Dame, Syracuse, Marquette, Ohio State, and the University of Buffalo. Overseas Elite, which featured CJ McCollum‘s brother Errick, was a four-time defending champion from 2015-18 and at one point had a 29-0 record in the event. 

TBT is also the original home of the Elam Ending, the alternate ending to basketball games previously seen in the NBA All-Star Game, and currently utilized in G League overtime and other events across the globe.

What’s the Elam Ending?

Designed to preserve a more natural end-of-game finish, the Elam Ending® calls for the game clock to be shut off in the fourth quarter. A Target Score is set by adding 8 points to the leading team’s score. The first team to reach the Target Score wins. For example, if the score is 80-72, the Target Score becomes 88. The first team to reach 88 wins. Once the game clock is eliminated, trailing teams are allowed to focus on getting stops, rather than preventing the clock from running out. This results in great defense and pure basketball possessions all the way to the end.

After testing the format in 2017, The Basketball Tournament (TBT) implemented it for all games beginning in 2018. The results were eye-opening. Not only did players embrace the concept, but it also led to a markedly more electrifying and intense experience for fans.

[FOX Sports, TBT reach multi-year agreement]

Basketball superfan, Mensa genius, Ball State professor, and Cincinnati Reds groundskeeper Nick Elam emailed us blindly at info@thetournament.com in August of 2016 with a 76-page Powerpoint deck outlining a rule change proposal he called the “Hybrid Duration Format.”

Nick began working on the concept in 2004 after becoming frustrated while watching the NCAA Tournament with a group of friends. He noticed that instead of it being the most exciting portion of the game, the final couple minutes were often diluted with rushed offensive possessions and repeated fouling by the trailing team.  For a basketball fanatic like Elam, accepting this status quo was simply not good enough.

After receiving his proposal and deciding to implement it in 2017, TBT named it the Elam Ending.

Who has played in TBT before?

Notable names over the years include Jimmer Fredette, Jared Sullinger, Greg Oden, Joe Johnson, Thomas Robinson, Robbie Hummel, Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, and many more. TBT had 75 players with NBA experience on its rosters last year, the most in event history.

TBT’s Setup for 2024

TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament hosted across eight regionals. All regional events are hosted by an alumni team representing a powerhouse college basketball program. This summer’s locations and host teams include:

TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament hosted across eight regionals. All regional events are hosted by an alumni team representing a college basketball program. This summer’s locations and host teams include:

TBT’s regionals will run July 19-24. One team from each region will advance to TBT’s quarterfinals, which will take place July 29-30. TBT’s semifinals will be played on Aug. 2, and the $1 million winner-take-all championship will be played on Aug. 4.

Big names for TBT 2024

Notable players committed this year include former NBA players Eric Bledsoe and Willie Cauley-Stein of La Familia, the University of Kentucky alumni team, and Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell of The Ville, the University of Louisville alumni team. We’ll continue to announce players on our social media pages over the next few months.



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