The Basketball Tournament (TBT) 2021 regions were released this week as the return of the 64-team format that was used in year’s prior before the pandemic is welcomed back. Fans will also be back in the stands, adding another element missed from the 2020 iteration of the event.
TBT 2021 will run from July 16 to Aug. 3 in five different locations. The tournament’s quarterfinals, semifinals, and final will be held from July 31 to Aug. 3 in Dayton, Ohio, at the University of Dayton Arena, with all games airing on ESPN or ESPN2. The decision to hold the final three rounds in Dayton makes sense given how much Flyers fans have embraced TBT and Red Scare, the Dayton alumni team.
“After Flyers fans came out in droves to support Red Scare in Columbus in 2019, it was a no-brainer decision to bring TBT to Dayton,” TBT explained on its website. “And when we saw the results of the school’s $72 million renovation to UD Arena, we decided to go all-in and bring TBT’s Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Winner-Take-All Championship Game to Gem City from July 31 – August 3. With the likes of Devin Oliver, Trey Landers, and Ryan Mikesell all on board, Red Scare has vowed to win three games at the Columbus Regional and play in front of their home fans.”
We know Red Scare will be one of the 64 teams vying for TBT 2021’s $1 million prize and will play in the Columbus Regional, which will take place at The Covelli Center on Ohio State’s campus from July 23-27. We also know six others: Aftershocks (Wichita State alumni), Best Virginia (West Virginia alumni), Herd That (Marshall alumni), Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State alumni), House of ‘Paign (Illinois alumni), and Always A Brave (Bradley alumni). Each of those seven squads have been placed into their natural regions.
Aftershocks will play in the Wichita Regional, held at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas, from July 16-20. The already-included West Virginia teams will meet up with their other competitors in Charleston, West Virginia, at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center from July 17-21. The fourth region in TBT 2021 will be played in Peoria, Illinois, at the Peoria Civic Center from July 24-28.
Of course, TBT 2021 will include the Elam Ending yet again. The unique method of determining game winners has become a staple of the event and helped turned the Elam Ending into a well-known phenomenon in the sport. TBT without the Elam Ending wouldn’t be TBT.
TBT has become a major part of the annual basketball calendar that has particularly griped hold of college basketball fans rooting on their respective alumni teams. It made an even bigger name for itself in 2020, becoming one of the world’s first sporting events to return following the coronavirus outbreak and introducing the successful bubble model to sports. But as well as TBT 2020 went, I’d expect a TBT 2021 with a full field, fans in attendance, and local teams playing in front of home crowds to be even better.