Scarlet & Gray, a team mostly made up of former Ohio State standouts, plays Friday night; Overseas Elite featuring GlenOak grad Errick McCollum also in Super 16
Scarlet & Gray, a team mostly made up of former Ohio State standouts, has reached this week's Super 16 round of The Basketball Tournament. Three-time defending TBT champion Overseas Elite, which features GlenOak grad Errick McCollum, also is in the Super 16 of the $2 million winner-take-all tournament.
Scarlet & Gray won twice this past weekend at Capital University to advance from the Midwest Regional. Former OSU All-American Jared Sullinger scored 28 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in an 82-73 win over the Texas Tech Matadors in the second game.
“With the guys we have and the way we play, we understand who has the hot hand and who does not,” said Sullinger, who played for the Buckeyes from 2010-12 and later played in the NBA. “We go with the hot hand. We don’t have any egos around here.”
The Matadors held a seven-point lead in the opening quarter and led by nine in the second before Scarlet & Gray started to take over.
With 10.7 seconds left in the half, Sullinger and Matadors guard Quincy Diggs (a former Akron player) got into an altercation at the Matadors bench. Diggs’ closed-fisted shove earned an ejection. Scarlet & Gray went into the second half down 39-38, yet had momentum.
“That was a 2-million-dollar push right there,” Sullinger said. “I appreciate it.”
Sullinger started the second half strong with six quick points and then took over in the fourth quarter with his team down 61-60. He scored his team's first seven points of the fourth and 11 of the first 13. With 3:57 left and leading 75-70, Scarlet & Gray took a timeout to kick in the “Elam Ending”: By tournament rule, the game clock was shut off and the target score to win the game became the leading team’s point total plus seven — 82.
Jon Diebler hit a three-pointer, William Buford drained a jumper and the game ended on an alley-oop from Buford to David Lighty.
That set the overflow crowd into another frenzy.
“We knew it was going to be full, but I didn’t know how excited it would make me,” said point guard Aaron Craft, who scored 12 points. “We rode that wave.”
As for the next round, Sullinger is expected to play despite getting married this weekend.
“You never know,” Sullinger said. Scarlet & Gray head coach Scoonie Penn, a former OSU star point guard, alluded to trying to shift things around so “big man is playing.”
Center Byron Mullens, who missed Sunday’s game because of personal reasons, also could be back. Greg Oden, who was the top pick of the 2007 NBA draft, is scheduled to be in Atlanta and has practiced with the team.
“I can’t wait for that,” Sullinger said.
Next up for Scarlet & Gray is a Super 16 game at 9 p.m., Friday in Atlanta against Primetime Players, a semi-pro team based in South Carolina that won at the buzzer Sunday evening. ESPN will televise the game.
Overseas Elite advanced out of the South Regional. It plays its Super 16 game at 9 p.m., Thursday, against Louisiana United. ESPN2 will televise the game.
The quarterfinals are Sunday. The semifinals and finals are Aug. 2-3, in Baltimore. ESPN and ESPN2 will televise all of the final three rounds.