The field is set for this summer’s The Basketball Tournament (TBT) and the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Lexington Regional include a lot of familiar faces.
Team Loyalty is Love, managed by former Cat DeMarcus Cousins, is the top-seed in Lexington, while The Bluegrass Boys, the Kentucky Alumni team and host squad, drew the No. 2 seed. Games will take place at Frederick Douglass High School on July 19-21 and be televised live on the ESPN networks. The eight regional winners will advance to Championship Weekend in Chicago, which culminates with the winner-take-all $2 million championship game on August 6 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN).
The Bluegrass Boys, organized by general manager Mark Krebs (2010), are coached by two-time NCAA champion Wayne Turner (1999). Here’s the roster:
- Derek Willis (2017)
- Dominique Hawkins (2017)
- Josh Harrellson (2011)
- Marcus Lee (2016)
- Ramon Harris (2010)
- Kevin Galloway (2009)
- AJ Stewart (2009)
“Playing in front of the Big Blue Nation is one of the greatest feelings a player can experience,” said Turner. “The Lexington Regional has a strong field, but with this team and these fans, I like our chances.”
This is Team Loyalty is Love’s first TBT appearance. DeMarcus Cousins isn’t the only former Cat involved:
- Daniel Orton (2010)
- Pierre Jackson (Baylor)
- Quincy Miller (Baylor)
- Isaiah Austin (Baylor)
- Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette)
- Markel Brown (Oklahoma State)
- Willie Reed (Saint Louis)
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Lexington this summer to support my TBT squad, Team Loyalty is Love, as we look to bring home the championship,” Cousins said. “Kentucky fans have been so great to my family and I, and it’s always special coming back. TBT is the premier basketball event in the summertime, and I’m excited to be a part of it for the first time this year.”
Lexington Regional tickets may be purchased immediately at TheTournament.com with options for both daily and weekend passes. The bracket and schedule of Rounds 1-3 were announced today (game times subject to change):
Game 1, Round 1: No. 4 KBC vs. No. 5 Peoria All-Stars (Friday, July 19 at 3 p.m.)
Game 2, Round 1: No. 1 Team Loyalty is Love vs. No. 8 Hoopville Warriors (Friday, July 19 at 5 p.m.)
Game 3, Round 1: No. 3 Fort Wayne Champs vs. No. 6 Showtime (Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m.)
Game 4, Round 1: No. 2 Bluegrass Boys vs. No. 7 D2 (Friday, July 19 at 9 p.m.)
Game 5, Round 2: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (Saturday, July 20 at 4 p.m.)
Game 6, Round 2: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (Saturday, July 20 at 6 p.m.)
Game 7, Round 3: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m.)
Earlier today, ESPN’s Carmine Carcieri ranked all 64 teams in the TBT. Team Loyalty is Love came in at No. 4 and The Bluegrass Boys No. 18.
“As the No. 2 seed in the Lexington region and with the pedigree of the Kentucky program, the thought is The Bluegrass Boys should be much higher in these rankings. Josh Harrellson, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis will be the stars of the show, but the lack of a true shot-creator could come back to bite the Kentucky alumni team.”
Clearly Carciere hasn’t watched enough Dominique Hawkins highlights. Also, does this clip from Twitter hint at DeAndre Liggins joining the squad?
— Bluegrass Boys (@BluegrassBoys19) June 11, 2019