#2 Scarlet & Gray (Ohio State Alumni) vs. #6 Team Challenge ALS
Team Challenge ALS has continued to shock the TBT world. Led by NBA star Darren Collison as their head coach and Casper Ware and Austin Daye as the team’s go-to-players, ALS has been able to put together a nice Final Four run.
However, the additions of Aaron Craft and Jared Sullinger have been just unfair as the Ohio State Alumni have won all of their games with ease. And the scariest part about it all, is they just keep getting better. A 25 point win over the number one seeded, Golden Eagles (Marquette Alumni) was solidifying as that win really put the TBT world on notice.
Keys to victory for Team Challenge ALS: You have to get Casper Ware and Austin Daye going early. If either one of these two are off then it’s over. Scarlet & Gray is just too loaded to have any mistakes or bad play from your superstars. They also have to protect the paint. With arguably the best big guy in TBT right now in Jared Sullinger, this game could get ugly quickly.
Also ALS will need to put together something to stop Aaron Craft and Dave Lighty from exploiting the wings. However, when you try to stop those three, Leon Rodgers and William Buford go off. So ALS, pick your poison.
Keys to victory for Scarlet & Gray: Continue the dominance. ALS had a nice run but Scarlet & Gray is just too loaded and top heavy for this ALS team. Austin Daye is ALS’ go to big man and he won’t even force Sullinger to blink down low in the paint. This will result in a forced double-team, which will leave Leon Rodgers wide open to score.
If for some reason ALS is able to suppress their bigs, they’ll be faced with the challenge of stopping Craft and Lighty, a challenge no TBT team this year as yet to do. And if able to stop them, then have fun with Buford, who’s a dual threat.
So Scarlet & Gray, feed the post and let your wing players do what they do. And if their were Vegas odds on this game, in the words of head coach Evan Turner, “Put your money on us.”
#1 Overseas Elite vs. 3 Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni)
Wow. What a late night matchup do we have on our hands to close up the Final Four for the Basketball Tournament on Tuesday night. The Army, who trailed Team FOE by 25 points with 11:54 remaining, made the craziest comeback in TBT history. It was a game of runs towards the end that helped the Orange comeback and win 72-67.
As for Overseas Elite, they’ve yet to lose a game in TBT play as they’re 17-0 and they’re the back-to-back defending Champions. Oh and they only got better this year.
“This is the first team where we have someone that we can throw the ball into the post and score,” said Errick McCollum. “We’ve always had athletic big men, now we have physical bigs. I think this is the best team we’ve had yet.
Though, 17-0 or not this Elite team has had their share of comebacks as well. And despite calling this their best team ever, they haven’t looked like it this year as they’ve trailed several times. Down by 16, to the eighth seeded Matadors (Texas Tech Alumni) and down to Ram Nation (VCU Alumni) by 10, this team has trailed and they’ve been tested.
Keys to victory for Boeheim’s Army: They’ve had some of the biggest scoring runs in the Tournament so far and those need to continue. However, they’ve also had some of the biggest scoring droughts in the Tournament as well with GaelNation (Iona Alumni) and Team FOE. Which if they go on one of those long scoring droughts against Overseas Elite then it will be over sooner than they can blink.
What the Army needs to do is continue to feed off of the energy in the gym from the Orange faithful, get James Southerland and Donte Greene going early. Greene started off hot against GaelNation which helped open up the huge lead for the Army and Southerland as everyone knows was the spark plug to the comeback against FOE. They’ll also need big play ability out of DaShonte Riley has he’ll have a tough task on his hands with bigs like DeJaun Blair and company down in the paint. But as long as he can continue to assist Rick Jackson down low the Army should be fine on that standpoint.
Lastly, the Army will need to continue to have solid guard play. Ride Brandon Triche’s hot hand. But most importantly, the Army needs to turn back the clock and get Eric Devendorf back to emotional standing on scorer’s table type of play back. His play is still at that intensity, but the fans would be ecstatic to see the old Devendorf.
Keys to victory for Overseas Elite: They have to suppress the Army’s crowd early. The “lets go Orange chants” and the famous Orange hand-clap until the Orange scores their first basket has a true way of really effecting teams. They also have to jump out to an early lead and a big one. If they can go up big early, they’ll really put some pressure on the Army as some admitted after trailing FOE by 25, that they kind of gave up.
Another key will be, stopping James Southerland. He’s this team’s spark plug. His 23 points in 23 minutes is the reason the Army is in the Final Four right now and the entire team will admit it. Southerland never quit and kept the Army emotionally in it.
Feed DeJaun Blair in the post. If the Army plays 2-3, expose the heart of the zone early and get Blair going. It won’t be easy but it has to be done. Also get Errick McCollum and Kyle Fogg going early. These two as well as DeAndre Kane are the Elite’s bread and butter.
This will game should be a very high scoring game as both teams are very loaded from top to bottom. With Syracuse great and NBA Superstar Carmelo Anthony on hand in the crowd, we may just have an upset brewing as the Army would love to give Melo a welcome home gift.