The Basketball Tournament — the winner-take-all open tournament with a prize of $2 million — announced its 2017 bracket Tuesday and wouldn’t you know it, BYU and Utah are playing in Las Vegas again.
Well, BYU doesn’t have an alumni team in the field, but Team Fredette is coached by none other than The Jimmer, and includes Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo.
Team Fredette also includes some familiar MWC names in Darington Hobson (New Mexico) and Josh Adams (Wyoming).
The team is in the West region, which begins play July 15 in Las Vegas. Team Fredette drew a 10-seed and will face 7-seed Team Utah in the first round.
Indeed, Team Utah is a Utes alumni team featuring Shaun Green, Dakarai Tucker, Richard Chaney, Tim Drisdom, Bryant Markson and Justin Hawkins. The team had a cinderella run into the elite 8 last year, including a win over a stacked Gonzaga team named Few Good Men.
Davies and Abouo appear to be the only BYU alums in the tournament this year. In 2015, Jonathan Tavernari played on the first iteration of Team Utah, which was an all-Utah-schools conglomerate.
That’s not the case this year, as Weber State alumni team Wasatch Front, coached by Damian Lillard, is in the tournament for the first time and in the same pod as Team Utah and Team Fredette. It’s full of former Wildcats with European experience.
The winner of Team Utah/Team Fredette likely draws Few Good Men on July 16.
The field is full of former NBA players. Ohio State alumni team Scarlet & Gray features former No. 1 pick Greg Oden, while NBA dunk champion Jeremy Evans plays for Kentucky Kings with his fellow Western Kentucky alums.
The tournament hasn’t posted how the first rounds will be viewable, though I suspect those games will be on Facebook Live. Games from the round of 16 through the title game will be on ESPN or ESPN2.