April 14, 2018

All-star lineup of former Hogs to play for $2 million in ‘The Basketball Tournament’

Ever wish you could see have seen former Razorback Michael Qualls play one more year with Moses Kingsley? What would it be like to see Hog great Ronnie Brewer running pick-and-roll with big man Marshawn Powell?

Razorback fans may get that chance this summer, when a super-team of former Razorback basketball players come together to compete in The Basketball Tournament, a wide-open summer tournament with $2 million in prize money at stake.

The Basketball Tournament is an open-application, single-elimination event that got its start in 2014. The field will include 72 teams this year, selected in a variety of ways. The champion of each region in last year’s tournament is an automatic qualifier, nine teams in each region will be chosen by an online fan voting process, one team in each region can purchase a slot, and four teams will be chosen at-large in each region.

The tournament has included some big-time players in the past, including former NBA players Jason Williams, Dahntay Jones, Mike Bibby, Royal Ivey. The last several years, a team made up of international players called Overseas Elite has dominated the competition, winning the championship in 2015, ’16, and ’17.

The Arkansas team currently consists of nine former Razorback players, including Ronnie Brewer, Moses Kingsley, Jabril Durham, Dusty Hannahs, Michael Qualls, Marshawn Powell, Alandise Harris, Rashad Madden and Jacorey Williams. Additional players could be announced at a later date.

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Former Razorback sharpshooter and ESPN analyst Pat Bradley will coach the team.

The Arkansas Team’s best chance to be guaranteed a spot in the field is to win the fan vote, but they are currently crushing it in that area. As of Tuesday afternoon, Arkansas had 1,373 “supporters,” more than double that of the second place team. Voting is open until 11 p.m. on June 1.

It’s a winner-take-all tourney, so the tournament champion will take home the entire $2 million cash prize. Most of that money will be split by the team, but the top 201 “supporters of the team” will have an opportunity to share a portion of the prize money as well.

The tournament begins with the South and West regions kicking off on July 13 in Richmond, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. The Northeast and Midwest regions will begin that next week on July 20.

For more information, or to register as a “supporter” of the Arkansas team, visit thetournament.com.

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Fayetteville Flyer - Dustin Bartholomew

Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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