The first round of The Tournament (TBT) was nothing more than a warm-up for Team Colorado. The Buffaloes alumni easily beat Kimchi Express 100-71 and advance in the 64-team, $2 million grand prize, winner-take-all tournament.
Team Colorado, the top seed in the West Region, immediately showed how great of a team they are and how hard badly they want to win it all. Led by the dynamic trio of Marcus Hall, Chris Copeland and Austin Dufault, Team Colorado’s offense scored effortlessly from everywhere on the floor. Team Colorado shot 55% from the field with 22 team assists. Their defense also proved impenetrable as they held Kimchi Express to just 71 points on 37% from the field.
Hall was Team Colorado’s star when the team was a runner-up in the 2016 TBT and he continued his electric play. He had 26 points with 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Copeland, formerly of the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, was absolutely dominant as he picked up 14 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Hall-Copeland pick-and-roll combo is going to be the most unstoppable play in the entire TBT. Hall is dangerous on his own with his shooting ability and lightning-quick driving ability, but with a former NBA player who’s more skilled than virtually anyone else in the competition? That’s lethal.
Dufault, the starting center on the 2012 Pac-12 Championship squad, also showed off his versatile offensive game and his underrated passing prowess. He had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. If Hall and Copeland are the stars of Team Colorado, Dufault is the ideal player to be that complimentary third star.
Team Colorado’s role players also excelled in this victory. Just about every player who took the court contributed in various ways and was ready to execute their jobs. The communication Team Colorado plays with shows they should be able to play to their utmost potential.
Next up for the Buffs alumni is the Broad Street Brawlers, a team loaded with former college players. That second round game will be tomorrow, July 16th, and will air on Watch ESPN at 1:45 p.m. (MST).