Last summer, a team of former Ohio State players reached the semifinals in The Basketball Tournament before coming up short in pursuit of the $2 million prize.

This year, the hope is that the team will improve on that finish and also get a chance to do so closer to home. Through the help of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the city of Columbus has submitted a bid to be one of four host sites in 2018 for the regional round of the 64-team tournament that includes many former NBA and college players.

Should the bid be awarded — and expectations are that it has a solid chance — games would be played at Capital University’s Capital Center. The driving force behind all of this has been Scoonie Penn, former Ohio State player, current OSU men’s basketball director of player development and the coach of last summer’s TBT team.

“We are thrilled to see so many cities recognize what a great event The Basketball Tournament is and express interest in bringing it to their fans next summer,” a spokesman for TBT told The Dispatch in an email. “We look forward to making our final decision on venues for the 2018 event soon.”

The Capital Center would have eight games on a Saturday and four the next day. Last year’s regionals were held during two weekends: Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 8-9 and Las Vegas and Peoria, Illinois, on July 15-16.

From there, the remaining 16 teams advanced to New York for games July 20-23 before reaching the final four Aug. 1-3 in Baltimore.

The GCSC worked with the tournament to determine the best site to host games and chose Capital because of its size and facilities as well as the potential for Ohio State’s team to reach the round.