What makes The Basketball Tournament unique? It’s moments like watching Conner Frankamp torch the Creighton alumni team Omaha Blue Crew for 24 points in front of a home crowd while representing his alma mater in a do-or-die, Elam Ending situation.
Conner Frankamp, blonde hair and all, shot 10-of-15 from the field and was especially crucial in the Elam Ending, hitting two triples off the dribble and scoring the game-winning layup after being part of a backcourt trap that resulted in a Blue Crew turnover. Eleven of his 24 points came during the Elam Ending, and the Wichita State alumni team AfterShocks triumphed, 76-73.
Technically, the game was between two sets of professionals with an aim at personal reward – one step closer to a share of $1 million – and many, but not all, of the players happened to have ties to Wichita State or Creighton. But emotionally, it was Creighton at Wichita State circa 2013.
“There were a lot of emotions the entire ending, especially the Elam Ending,” Conner Frankamp told Sean Marty of The Sunflower. “The final five seconds were maybe the craziest five seconds and I’ve played basketball my whole life.”
The performance from Conner Frankamp was one of several heroic outings in TBT’s opening weekend. Omaha Blue Crew was available for Frankamp to fry because of a ridiculous three pointer from Deverell Biggs as the shot clock expired to secure his team’s place in the second round. Stillwater Stars, the Oklahoma State alumni team, executed an incredible comeback against The Enchantment (New Mexico alumni) in the first round, overcoming a 23-point deficit after trailing 72-49 with 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter before flipping the script for an 84-83 victory. Jon Elmore scored 21 and went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in Herd That’s win over Team DRC in the first round. Mo Creek broke hearts again in the Elam Ending.
That only scratches the surface of what we witnessed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Wichita and West Virginia.
Now for some other news from across the sport this week:
Nothing But News: July 13-19, 2021
The NBA Finals have been fantastic so far, and Game 5 was no different. The Milwaukee Bucks took the series lead, 3-2, over the Phoenix Suns with a tight 123-119 victory.
The U.S. men’s basketball team defeated Spain, 83-76, in its final tune-up game before the Tokyo Olympics.
Liz Cambage announced she will not play in the Tokyo Olympics for personal reasons soon after Basketball Australia unveiled an investigation into her involvement in an alleged altercation during a recent closed-doors exhibition against Nigeria.
Marcus Carr, the former Minnesota player and highly-coveted transfer, signed with Texas.
Candace Parker became the first female athlete to be featured on an NBA 2K cover.
WNBA to Oakland got one step closer.
Get Caught Up on NBN Content
Here’s a recap of some of our content from the last week:
10 Players to Watch in TBT 2021
Ahead of TBT 2021, I broke down the 10 players I’m most excited to watch in the tournament using my own personal criteria.
What Are the Elam Ending Rules?
With TBT in our midst, we looked at the Elam Ending rules and how they work in The Basketball Tournament, the champion of the alternate game ending.
TBT Best Players 2021: One Player to Watch on Each Team
As a true primer for TBT 2021, we dove into each of the 64 teams and broke down one of the best players each squad has to offer.