After a brief hiatus, the 2021 Basketball Tournament resumed Friday with four games in the Columbus Regional.
No. 1 seed Carmen’s Crew made their first appearance of the tournament against Mid American Unity. The core of the 2019 championship team is back, including point guard Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, David Lighty and Evan Ravenel.
Other teams that stepped on the court today looking to secure their spot in TBT lore included Team Hines, The Money Team and Men of Mackey.
The Basketball Tournament Scores - July 23
No. 5 The Money Team def. No. 12 The Region, 86-71
No. 4 Team Hines def. No. 13 Brown and White, 67-56
No. 8 Men of Mackey def. No. 9 Ballinteers, 83-74
No. 1 Carmen's Crew def. No. 16 Mid American Unity, 77-65
There was plenty of drama in three of the four games on Friday.
Mid American Unity stunned Carmen's Crew in the first quarter to take a 23-21 lead. Things remained tight going into the intermission with the score tied at 37.
Carmen's Crew finally began heating up in the third quarter when it put up 27 points. The top seed in the Columbus Regional had two players record double-doubles in the win.
Kostas Koufos put up 16 points and 10 rebounds. He only missed one of his eight field-goal attempts in the win and scored the final six points for Carmen's Crew to hit the Elam Ending.
William Buford was also able to put up a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
While those two did most of the work for Carmen's Crew on offense, the entire defense did a great job shutting things down on the other end of the court. Mid American Unity shot 22-of-62 overall and made 25 percent of its three-point attempts.
The entire starting five for Mid American Unity combined for 29 points. Jimmy Hall Jr. was the only player on the team that reached double-figures in scoring. He dropped 10 points in 13 minutes off the bench.
Brown and White took a 37-30 lead into halftime against Team Hines. Everything fell apart for the team on the offensive end in the second half. They managed just 19 points after the break, including eight during the fourth period.
Neither offense fared particularly well in the game. Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field, while Team Hines made just seven of 25 attempts from three-point range.
Despite those struggles on the offensive end, Isaiah Miles and Justin Burrell provided a huge spark off the bench with a combined 22 points.
Miles went 3-of-6 from three-point range and grabbed seven rebounds in nearly 20 minutes. Two of his three three-pointers came on back-to-back possessions in the third quarter that turned a 45-43 deficit into a 49-45 lead.
Burrell's turnaround hook shot in the fourth quarter got Team Hines to the Elam Ending total needed for the win.
There were no scoring problems for the Money Team in their 86-71 win over The Region. They shot 33-of-64 from the field and got at least 10 points from five of the seven players who entered the game.
Jarrod Jones led the way for Money with 24 points in 29 minutes. He had help from Jordon Crawford, who did a little bit of everything with 14 points, seven assists and two rebounds.
The Region did get off to a hot start with an eight-point lead at the break. It evaporated by the end of the third quarter when Money went on a 26-16 run to take a 65-55 lead.
Region was able to keep itself in the game by grabbing 14 offensive rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome a disappointing 37.7 percent field-goal percentage.
Men of Mackey turned in the most impressive performance of the day for any victorious team. The group of Purdue alums led wire to wire in their 83-74 win over Ballinteers.
Kelsey Barlow led his team with 19 points and made four of his 10 shots from behind the arc.
Lewis Jackson IV contributed six assists and grabbed six rebounds in 18 minutes. Robbie Hummel scored 13 points on 3-of-6 three-point shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
Ballinteers had a significant 21-6 edge in second-chance points, but it wasn't enough to overcome a disappointing 9-of-30 performance from behind the arc.
Chris Lofton and Josh Selby had off days on the offensive end. They did combined for 33 points, but it came on 34 shot attempts.
Saturday will see the final eight teams in the Columbus Regional make their tournament debuts. The four winning clubs tonight will be back in action on Sunday in the second round.