In its first year of existence The Basketball Tournament has garnered a solid amount of attention this summer, with fans starved for some live basketball got the opportunity to watch players they may have remembered from their college (or even professional days). And the 32-team event also drew in squads that didn’t have that much playing experience, with fan voting influencing which teams were allowed to play.
And it didn’t hurt to have a $500,000 winner-take-all prize on the line.
Saturday evening at Case Gym in Boston, the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni and Team Barstool played for the title, with Notre Dame winning by the final score of 72-68. Tyrone Nash, who played at Notre Dame from 2007-11, led the way offensively with 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Nash was named MVP of the event.
Three Fighting Alumni finished the game in double figures, with Ryan Ayers (15 points, five rebounds) and Rob Kurz (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) being the others. Chris Thomas, the point guard on Notre Dame’s last Sweet 16 team (2003), tallied a team-high four assists. Of the 11 players on the roster ten were a part of the Notre Dame basketball program as collegians, with former Seton Hall guard Paul Gause being the lone exception.
Team Barstool, which possessed a roster of current and former pros featuring former Duke guard Dahntay Jones (he was last a member of the Atlanta Hawks in October before being waived), was considered by some to be the favorite to win the title before the event began. Jones finished the title game with a game-high 21 points, with Andre Barrett (13 points, six rebounds and five assists), Matt Walsh (12 points) and Josh Boone (12 points, 12 rebounds) joining him in double figures.
However even with four double-digit scorers Team Barstool fell short of winning the cash prize, with the Fighting Alumni’s superior shooting percentages (46 percent to 39 percent from the field; 7-for-19 3PT compared to Barstool’s 7-for-26) that made the difference. Team Barstool also shot 17-for-25 from the foul line, with the Fighting Alumni making 13 of their 16 attempts.
As for what the Fighting Alumni will do with their $500,000, the plan is to donate some of the winnings to Coaches vs. Cancer.