BOSTON – Feb. 23, 2016 – The third coming of the now-annual summer basketball “Shark Tank-like” hoops tournament has upped the ante. The Basketball Tournament (TBT) doubled its "winner-take-all prize" to $2 Million for 2016, with the winning team’s fans sharing 10% of the prize: $200,000. The open-to-all, single-elimination, summer basketball event will begin its application process, starting April 1 and play its winner-takes-all, $2 million championship on August 2nd.
“Doubling the prize to $2 million and allowing the winning team’s fans to share 10% is a massive step towards our goal of empowering sports fans,” said Jon Mugar, TBT founder and CEO. “The interest and support we’ve received from all areas of the basketball world has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to see what communities of teams form over the next several months.”
The summer tournament’s social media driven application period starts on April 1 on TheTournament.com. The field will consist of 64 teams to be divided into four regions. The top 12 vote getters by fans in each region will receive "automatic" bids, while TBT will select four at-large teams per region to complete the field. Teams can qualify by getting votes from fans who register on the site, with the top 100 fans of the winning team splitting $200k (10% of the total prize).
The tournament’s qualification process will play-out in the following regional tourneys: South (Charlotte) July 9, 10; West (Los Angeles) July 9, 10; Midwest (Chicago) July 16, 17; Northeast (Philadelphia) July 16, 17. Super 16 & Quarterfinals (Philadelphia) July 21, 21, 23. Semifinals (New York) will be on Saturday July 30th with the Championship (also New York) on Tuesday August 2nd. The Super 16 will take place at Philadelphia University from July 21-23, and the semifinals and championship game will be at Fordham University in The Bronx for the second consecutive year. ESPN will televise the three games from New York.
TBT’s 2015 field, included hundreds of players who played pro and collegiate ball all over the world. Overseas Elite, a team of veteran international professional players, won last year’s $1 million winner-take-all title at Fordham’s historic Rose Hill Gym. The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, a squad made up of some of the best players in University of Notre Dame history, won the inaugural title and $500,000 in 2014. Over 300 teams applied to join the tournament last year, which saw the winner-take-all prize double in value.
Players must be 18 years of age or older and all games are played under college rules with two 18-minute halves. In addition to Overseas Elite, university-based alumni teams representing schools like Syracuse University, Notre Dame, Princeton, Villanova, Virginia and others have competed in TBT’s two previous events.