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Day 2 TBT Recap Journal: The Lexington Region

There are times in sports when you get to see special things. That rare moment when a player does something so special that makes you think for a second that you are witnessing something from another planet. I’ve had a few of those moments in life, I watched Kobe drill a game-winner in Charlotte, watched Anthony Davis dominate a stacked North Carolina team, but today I may have seen the most special individual performance that I have ever witnessed when Chris Lofton turned back the clock to score 32 points in a losing effort against Team Loyalty is Love.

Chris Lofton gave me some of my worst nightmares as a child. As a blue-blooded Kentucky fan from Southeastern Kentucky, I am faced with the challenges of arguing against fans from the border state of Tennessee. Chris Lofton is a Kentucky boy from Maysville that was passed over by Tubby Smith and Kentucky when Tubby secured one of his best recruiting classes led by guard, Rajon Rondo. For the next four years, Chris Lofton reminded Tubby Smith why he made a mistake. Time after time, Chris would play against UK and hit difficult shot after difficult shot which would lead me to then go the next day and hear it from all of the Tennessee fans. He was the boogeyman to me. Leave him open when he crossed halfcourt, BAM three-pointer in your eye. Go under a screen and give him an inch of daylight, BAM three-pointer in your eye. There was no stopping him and for years I despised him for how many times he destroyed my team. But today, I became a fan of the boogeyman.

When Chris Lofton’s KBC team walked on the court today, they were overmatched. Team Loyalty is Love is stacked with talent at every position. They sometimes have three guys over 6’10 on the floor and those guys can knock down shots. But for three-quarters today, Chris Lofton stood toe to toe with them. Stepbacks, corner threes, and drives to the hole that were so smooth that many of us on press row were having a difficult time containing our excitement. Chris did it all and man, was it exciting. In the end, the play of returning guard Keifer Sykes, who scored 10 points off the bench, seemed to uplift Team Loyalty is Love to a 91-80 victory and a birth in the regional final. But I don’t want Chris Lofton’s crazy day to be forgotten. 32 points on 11-16 shooting and 8-13 from the 3 point line led to a day that I’ll always remember. It was also the day that I no longer fought against the boogeyman, I became one of his biggest fans.

Game 2: #3 Fort Wayne Champs vs. #7 D2

The Fort Wayne Champs have gone for two days as an under the radar team in this tournament, but now it is time for us to acknowledge how good they are. After a sensational performance against Showtime in their opening game yesterday, Fort Wayne returned to knock off the Tournaments early Cinderella, D2. Fort Wayne was led by former Georgia standout, Travis Leslie with 17 points in the game on 6-13 shooting. D2 followed up their first-round upset with another very good performance led by Stephaun Branch who scored 24 points on 9-12 shooting. The game was hard-fought all of the way through but ended with a Fort Wayne victory, 83-81. Fort Wayne will move on to play for the championship tomorrow against Team Loyalty is Love.

Remaining Player Power Rankings

  1. Darius Johnson-Odom (Loyalty)
  2. Isaiah Austin (Loyalty)
  3. Travis Leslie (Fort Wayne)
  4. Keifer Sykes (Loyalty)
  5. Pierre Jackson (Loyalty)
  6. Trey McKinney Jones (Fort Wayne)
  7. Matt Bouldin (Fort Wayne)
  8. Cameron Jackson (Fort Wayne)
  9. Willie Reed (Loyalty)
  10. Cody Demps (Loyalty)

10 Random Things From Day 2

  1. I watched Demarcus Cousins shoot around for a while and he looks in great shape
  2. The interactions between the players and crowd were awesome. It had the atmosphere of a rowdy high school game
  3. The staff for the TBT has done a great job hosting the event
  4. Half of the Kentucky team was in attendance and they also seemed to be enjoying Chris Lofton
  5. Chris Lofton still wears his Tennessee backpack and it breaks my heart
  6. Nick Mayo was not in attendance for Team KBC today
  7. Demarcus Cousins has a bodyguard around him that looks like he would break you in half
  8. Puma has done an awesome job on the uniforms this year
  9. Stephaun Branch for D2 can fly
  10. You don’t understand how good these guys are until you watch them up close. Every single one of these players would dominate you in a second.

Predictions for Day 3

Team Loyalty is Love defeats Fort Wayne in a very close game!

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