Okay. Today’s our big day. All of you who followed along with me and signed up with The Basketball Tournament and supported Team Mill Rats…
Today’s our first game in The Tournament. Bright and early, 10:00 a.m. this morning.
Last April, I blogged that a team of NBL Canada and Premier Basketball League stars would participate as a combined “Team Mill Rats” squad in The Basketball Tournament, a nationwide tournament featuring independent and professional hoops squads. I asked my blog readers that if they wanted to help the Mill Rats enter this million-dollar tournament, go to this link and sign up. All you do is fill in your name and address, and then click on a link that will be sent to your personal e-mail account. Simple as that.
And many of you did. So many, in fact, that the Mill Rats qualified for the tournament and were seeded ninth in the Midwest bracket.
And their first game is this morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. You can stream the game on your computer at this link.
The original plan was for Team Mill Rats to play in Philadelphia in the Northeastern Regional, but at the last minute team organizer Ian McCarthy sized up the competition and chose to move the Mill Rats to the Midwest bracket, thinking that would produce more favorable opponents.
The squad that Team Mill Rats is playing? The Illinois Hoopville Warriors, who yesterday clobbered their opponents, Team Mennonite Madness (no, I’m not making up this team name), 141-47. You can see the carnage here. The Hoopville Warriors set a Tournament record for most points scored in a single game, and the 94-point margin of victory was the largest in Tournament history.
And now they’re playing Team Mill Rats in the first round. Yeah, how’s that relocation bracket choice working out for you, Ian?
Still, the Mill Rats team does have some of the top NBL Canada talent, as well as former Albany Patroon Gabe Freeman (gotta support those Patroons, that never changes for me).
Meanwhile, over in the Northeastern Bracket, the squad with three Siena stars on it – Ronald Moore, Ryan Rossiter and Kenny Hasbrouck- known as Team Liberty Ballers, will take on a bunch of Lehigh University grads known as Team Wrecking Crew. That game takes place at 9:00 a.m. at Philadelphia University, and can also be streamed at this link.
So you can have a nice double-dose of hoops action with Capital District connections for breakfast.
And if things go well, Team Mill Rats and Team Liberty Ballers can advance to Sunday’s games. And both teams can move one step closer to that super-tasty million dollar winner-take-all prize.
And that’s as nice as an uncontested layup.
UPDATE: Team Liberty Ballers did advance to the next round, with a solid 93-79 win over the Wrecking Crew; however, Team Mill Rats fell 90-84 to the Illinois Hoopville Warriors. Bracket busted for Team Mill Rats fans.