If you’re just joining coverage of The Basketball Tournament, a team of CU basketball alumni — known as Team Colorado — advanced to the "Super 16" and are within reach of the $2,000,000 grand prize. An explanation of the tournament and preview of Team Colorado can be read here. A quick recap of the Buffs’ two previous victories can be read here.
Team Colorado will play Team 23, the top seed in the West Region and last year’s TBT runners-up. Team 23 barely made the bracket last year, but when they got in as a 13-seed after winning play-in games*, they quickly made work of their opposition. Team Colorado, unfortunately, was matched up with Team 23 in the first round and subsequently saw their hopes and dreams crushed. Team Colorado is made up mostly of fresh blood, but Austin Dufault and the Marcii Hall, Relphorde and King-Stockton are in prime position to avenge the fallen. , they
*The seeding of the Tournament is cause for mass confusion, and since I never addressed it in the TBT explanation, I do that now. The first winner of each region from last summer has an automatic berth. That’s how Team 23 got the top seed in the West. After that, seeds 2 through 11 are awarded to the ten teams in each region with the most "fan votes" with the teams with the most votes seeded the highest. Team Colorado, for reference, had the fourth most votes in the West (excluding Team 23), so they got the fifth seed.
The reason for this TBT Update isn’t that they’re playing Team 23 (that was covered last time), but that the game time and TV viewing information has been finalized. Team Colorado’s Super 16 matchup, which is hosted in Philadelphia, will air Friday at noon (MST) on ESPN3. Should Team Colorado advance, they will play Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 against Team Utah (Utes alumni) or A Few Good Men (Gonzaga alumni).
Another reason for the update is a wrinkle to the TBT that I had completely forgotten about: in the Super 16, teams can play with a "Ringer." A Ringer is a non-roster player added to the team for the rest of the tournament. The identity of the Ringer isn’t identified until the team’s Super 16 game time. They are extremely valuable in that their team can choose a Ringer specifically geared to cause matchup problems with their immediate opposition. Additionally, the anonymity of the player makes it impossible for the other team to gameplan around him.
Two teams have exercised their right to a Ringer thus far, Syracuse’s Boeheim’s Army and Gonzaga’s A Few Good Men.
A local Gypsy woman told me Rumor has it that Boeheim’s Army have picked Kris Joseph or Trevor Cooney, two recent Orange stars. Meanwhile the Zags might choose David Stockton or Adam Morrison (!!!). As for Team Colorado ...
Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America,
Stolen from Africa, brought to America,
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
Is that Chris Copeland’s music I hear?
The Buffs could look to an alumnus who was in the NBA as recently as February. If there’s any talent gap between Team 23 and Team Colorado would be immediately closed or even flipped. If not Copeland, the team could call on the services of former NBA player Cory Higgins (now in Europe), or someone else entirely. Whoever it is, if anyone, it will be just another reason to tune in to ESPN3 at noon on Friday.
UPDATE: Teams can only call on a Ringer if they have more than 2,000 fan votes. Team Colorado had 792 votes, so they won’t be able to call on Copeland or Higgins. At least Team 23 can’t call on one either.