The Basketball Tournament 2019 Results: Carmen's Crew Advances to Semifinals

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: William Buford #44 and Aaron Craft #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on during the game against the Florida Gators at Value City Arena on November 15, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 81-74. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Carmen’s Crew and the Golden Eagles are headed to the semifinals at The Basketball Tournament.

The first two quarterfinal games of the annual 64-team, single-elimination tournament took place Thursday at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, and the two victors took another step toward the $2 million prize awaiting the champion.

The first matchup was a heavyweight showdown between two No. 1 seeds who emerged from the eight regions. Carmen’s Crew, which is loaded with former Ohio State Buckeyes, squared off against Eberlein Drive, which made the championship game last year.

The second matchup also featured a top seed in the Golden Eagles, which features multiple Marquette alumni, and an underdog story in the eighth-seeded Jackson TN Underdawgs.

Here is a look at the results.

          

Results

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Carmen’s Crew 79, Eberlein Drive 71

Golden Eagles 79, Jackson TN 62

          

Recap

Carmen’s Crew 79, Eberlein Drive 71

It appeared as if Carmen’s Crew was going to steamroll to victory when it drilled five three-pointers in the first quarter alone and built a 14-point halftime lead.

Demetri McCamey did much of that early scoring, carrying the offense for extended stretches on his way to a team-high 16 points behind 4-of-6 shooting from deep. The Illinois product eventually gave way to the Buckeyes in a balanced scoring effort, as William Buford (15 points), Aaron Craft (11 points) and David Lighty (10 points) also finished in double figures.

That was enough to extend the lead to as many as 23 in the third quarter, but Eberlein Drive came storming back thanks to Jerome Randle.

The guard, who was a two-time All-Pac-12 performer at California, went on a 10-0 run by himself as he attempted to take over the game in the second half. He finished with 27 points and was the only member of his team to score more than 11.

DeJuan Blair, who played with the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards, tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards, but he found himself in foul trouble as his team was in comeback mode.

Part of what helped Eberlein Drive battle back was additional screening on Craft, who was a two-time Big Defensive Player of the Year, to free up Randle to attack weaker defenders. It trimmed the deficit to six by the Elam Ending, which eliminates the game clock on the first stoppage under four minutes and adds eight points to the leader’s score as the target.

The first team to reach that mark wins, and Carmen’s Crew did just that with a layup from Lighty and free throws from Jeff Gibbs, who ended up with 14 points and five boards.

         

Golden Eagles 79, Jackson TN 62

There would be no underdog story in the final game, as the Golden Eagles gradually pulled away for a comfortable win despite a slow start.

Jackson TN looked more than comfortable running with the top seed in the early going and even built a three-point lead after a quarter. Jaylen Barford, who was an All-SEC performer at Arkansas, led the offensive attack from the perimeter and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.

However, he didn’t receive enough help as the only member of his team to score in double figures.

The Golden Eagles exploited that lack of a balanced attack during a 15-0 run in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead. To Jackson TN’s credit, it didn’t go away and countered with a 12-1 run of its own that Jeremy Weddle capped off with a buzzer-beater to end the half.

It set the stage for a dramatic finish, but the Marquette alumni had other plans. Lawrence Blackledge threw down a monster dunk in transition before Travis Diener drilled a three to push the advantage to eight at the end of the third quarter, and there would be no looking back in the fourth.

The Elam Ending didn’t feature much drama when Jamil Wilson’s deep three extended the advantage to 16 with less than four minutes left. It was fitting Wilson, who played 15 games for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2017-18 campaign, connected on that three and the one that ended the game because he carried the offense at times on his way to 26 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Dwight Buycks, who played for the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons, added 16 points in support.