There is a way to see the Buffs of lore team up once again on the hardwood. This opportunity will be realized for the second time in The Basketball Tournament.
The Basktetball Tournament "is an open-application, 5-on-5, single-elimination, winner-take-all basketball tournament." The championship of this 64-team tournament will air on ESPN on August 2. The winning team will win $2,000,000, which is up 100% from last summer.
Teams are created by general managers who are tasked with recruiting players, raising money, and everything in between. There are minimal team building restrictions, so the tournament sees teams of all shapes and (physical) sizes. One of the most popular type of team is that of alumni from a college basketball team. This is how the Colorado Buffaloes will be represented, CU alumni exclusively make up Team Colorado.
The GM of Team Colorado is former reserve big man, Trent Beckley (2006-11). Beckley took the job over from Beau Gamble, who orchestrated the team last summer. Dwight Thorne II, the former CU guard and 2015 TBT participant, will roam the sidelines as head coach. Joining Beckley in the front office is team booster and current NBA wing Alec Burks. Unfortunately, Burks won’t be playing. As a booster, he’s essentially be a promoter whose main job is to secure votes for the team. Team Colorado not only received enough votes to be included in the tournament, but they managed to snag the 5th seed in the West Region.
There are a few holdovers from last year’s team that was bounced in the first round. Those players are noted below with asterisks. Here’s the full roster:
Dominique Coleman, 2005-07
Austin Dufault*, 2008-12
Marcus Hall*, 2004-08
Marcus King-Stockton*, 2004-08
Levi Knutson, 2007-11
Jayson Obazuaye, 2002-06
Marcus Relphorde*, 2009-11
Richard Roby, 2005-08
Scott Senger, 2002-06
Shannon Sharpe, 2011-12
Calvin Williams, 2005-06
Upon first glance, Roby and Knutson’s inclusions are eye-popping, as is the continued participation from Dufault and Relphorde. Ever since breaking all kinds of records at CU, Roby has starred in Europe where his offensive game has somehow grown. Knutson, the sharpshooting fan favorite, has since made a name for himself overseas, as have versatile big men Dufault and Relphorde.
Team Colorado begins play on Saturday, July 9 at 8:15 p.m. (MST) where they will play the Israeli side known as Shaare Zedek (Medical Center). If the CU alumni advance, they will play on Sunday against either the Boston College alumni (trigger warning: Brady Heslip is on this team somehow) or Mostly Sports, a team known for their "old man" style of play.
If the Buffs advance to the "Super 16", their remaining games will be aired on one of ESPNU or ESPN2. Also, Team Colorado may have the opportunity to seek revenge on Team 23 next weekend. Team 23 is the 1-seed in the West and eliminated the Buffs in the first round last summer as a 13-seed.
Fans shouldn’t be expecting anything great, but with talent to spare and Roby unleashed, Team Colorado can make a serious run at the grand prize.