After defeating Seven City Royalty in the first round of The Basketball Tournament, Best Virginia has advanced to the second round to face what may be the biggest test of the tournament.
Despite a bit of early struggles, the squad of Mountaineer alumni were able to complete a commanding win over Royalty by a score of 79-63 to move on. Their opponent would then be decided in game that followed on the same court between Overseas Elite, the top seed of the tournament, and Hilltop Dawgs, or a squad of UMBC alumni — a fitting bottom seed.
Unfortunately for the Dawgs, they were unable to repeat their magic of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, as they were on the short end of a 104-76 blowout.
Overseas Elite have a history at TBT. They first entered the tournament in 2015, the second year of its existence, as a team of american hoopers who played overseas. They would make their run all the way to the finals, eventually taking home the then $1 million prize. Not a bad debut.
2015 was just a start for Overseas Elite, who would go on to win the next three TBTs. In fact, they have won every single iteration of TBT except for the first edition of the tournament.
As defending champs with a 25-0 (now 26-0) record at TBT, they were slotted as the tournament’s top overall seed, a title they lived up to in the first round. Their offense was firing on all cylinders, putting up the first 100 spot of this year’s TBT.
With 9 minute quarters, seemingly lax officiating on fouls the Elam ending, and just seven players, that is quite an impressive feat.
Their box score was nothing to scoff at, either. Every player who checked into the game for Overseas Elite reached double figures, with two (DJ Kennedy and Justin Burrell) logging double-doubles.
Kennedy provided most of the production for Overseas Elite with 24 points, 13 boards and 5 assists, and he most likely has some familiarity with some of his Best Virginia opponents. A Pittsburgh native, Kennedy was a four-year starter at St. John’s in the BIG EAST from 2007-2011, a span in which he and the Red Storm faced West Virginia five times.
Best Virginia tips off against Overseas Elite at 5 p.m. in Richmond, Virginia at VCU’s Siegel Center. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.