ESPN to Televise The Basketball Tournament Championship Week, Aug. 1-6

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ESPN to Televise The Basketball Tournament Championship Week, Aug. 1-6

ESPN voices to include Bob Rathbun, Dan Dakich, Fran Fraschilla and reporter Jen Hale

$2 million winner-take-all champion to be crowned Tuesday in Chicago

ESPN networks will televise The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Championship Week, Aug. 1-6, live from Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The single-elimination, five-on-five, open-application tournament will crown the 2019 winner-take-all $2 million champion Tuesday in prime time (9 p.m. ET, ESPN and the ESPN App).

During Championship Week, the eight remaining teams in the 64-team field will compete in the quarterfinals (Thursday/Friday) for a spot in the semifinals (Sunday) and eventual Championship game. Overseas Elite, a team of American stars currently playing in top leagues around the world, leads the field in Chicago having won the past four TBT crowns with a current 28-0 record while earning an astounding $7 million.

ESPN’s commentator team features play-by-play voice Bob Rathbun, analysts Fran Fraschilla and Dan Dakich, and reporter Jen Hale.

Said Fraschilla: “TBT is high-level basketball meets reality TV. The winner-take-all nature of splitting $2 million for a summer basketball tournament takes on the stress and pressure of an NBA Finals. And, it shows on everyone’s faces. It’s incredible drama.”

TBT 2019 features more than 60 players with NBA experience, 23 college alumni teams and international professionals playing in top leagues around the world. The eight remaining teams:

  • Overseas Elite: TBT’s four-time reigning champions are led by Chicago native Jeremy Pargo, TBT 2018 MVP D.J. Kennedy and former NBA point guard Bobby Brown.
  • Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State alumni): This team of former Buckeyes coached by Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger features OSU legends such as Aaron Craft, William Buford and David Lighty.
  • Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni): Jamil Wilson and Dwight Buycks pace this collection of former Marquette players alongside Chicago natives Mo Acker and Jerel McNeal. Marquette legend Travis Diener, who played for the Golden Eagles’ 2003 Final Four team, joins for Championship Week.
  • Loyalty Is Love: Run by L.A. Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins, Loyalty is Love is led by Chicago natives Quincy Miller and Kiefer Sykes, as well as Pierre Jackson, Daniel Orton and former Baylor star Isaiah Austin, whose career nearly ended after a Marfan syndrome diagnosis in 2014.
  • Team Hines: Named after the team’s center and Euroleague star Kyle Hines, the loaded Team Hines roster features former NBA players Joey Dorsey, Ricky Ledo and Mike James.
  • Eberlein Drive: Starring Chicago high school legends Jerome Randle and Osiris Eldridge, Eberlein Drive was TBT’s runner-up in 2018. One of five teams to play in all six years of TBT, Eberlein Drive added former Pittsburgh star and TBT 2017 Champion DeJuan Blair for Championship Week.
  • Team Brotherly Love: Comprised of top pro talent from Philadelphia, the roster includes former Sacramento Kings power forward Jason Thompson.
  • Jackson TN Underdawgs: The Cinderella Underdawgs feature four long-haul truckers and former Arkansas star Jaylen Barford, all of whom represent their hometown of Jackson, Tenn.

The Basketball Tournament 2019 Championship Week in Chicago (Aug. 1-6):

Date Time (ET) Game / Announcers Network
Thursday Aug 1 7 p.m. Quarterfinal 1:

Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni) vs. Eberlein Drive

Bob Rathbun, Dan Dakich and reporter Jen Hale

ESPN
9 p.m. Quarterfinal 2:

Jackson TN Underdawgs vs. Golden Eagles (Marquette Alumni)

Rathbun, Dakich and Hale

ESPNU
Friday Aug 2 7 p.m. Quarterfinal 3:

Overseas Elite vs. Loyalty is Love

Rathbun, Dakich and Hale

ESPN
9 p.m. PUMA Posterize Dunk Contest

Matt Martucci, Tim Scarborough and Hale

ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Quarterfinal 4:

Team Hines vs. Brotherly Love

Rathbun, Dakich and Hale

ESPN2
Sunday

Aug 4

12 p.m. Semifinal 1: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner

Rathbun, Fran Fraschilla and Hale

ESPN
2 p.m. Semifinal 2: Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner

Rathbun, Fraschilla and Hale

ESPN
Tuesday

Aug 6

9 p.m. $2 million, winner-take-all Championship

Rathbun, Fraschilla and Hale

ESPN

* All times ET; All games will also be available via the ESPN App 

* The colleges/universities of collegiate basketball alumni teams are noted in parentheses

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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s pro football PR, including Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows. Other programs I work on include ESPN soccer, Around the Horn and PTI.
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