Another Saturday that is jam-packed with The Basketball Tournament (TBT) action. The quarterfinals begin as multiple teams look to claim their first-ever TBT championship. However, the Golden Eagles are the reigning TBT champions and are looking to be the first team to repeat since Overseas Elite. Let’s dissect the Saturday, July 31st games and see which team will be one step closer to the million dollars – here are my TBT Picks for July 31.
TBT Picks July 31
(2) Aftershocks -3.5 vs (5) Florida TNT 12pm EST
The Aftershocks defended their home floor and made it out of the Wichita Regional. The sharpshooter Conner Frankamp has led this team in scoring with 16 points per game and hitting three threes in every contest. Rashad Kelly has been a very consistent force for them and Markis McDuffie was a great addition to the team that provides them with another option at scoring.
Florida TNT in their second tournament appearance have a strong core of players. Kenny Boynton, Dominique Jones, and Chris Warren have been huge in this run for Florida TNT. In their second round game vs LA Cheaters, the trio all finished with at least 20 points each. Warren is starting to dial in from three as he is now hitting at 44% for the tournament.
The Aftershocks have the deeper team and they all have the ability to score when they reach their spots. However, Florida TNT is a tough team that is not afraid to get into a shootout with anyone. I like them to cover what should be a great TBT game on July 31st.
The Pick: Florida TNT +3.5
(1) Golden Eagles -2.5 vs (3) Boeheim’s Army 2pm EST
Get your popcorn ready ladies and gentlemen. We are in for what should be the game of the day. This game has all the potential to be just as entertaining as a TBT championship game.
In one corner, we have Boeheim’s Army, the established TBT veteran team that has not been able to get over the hump and capture a TBT championship. So, they get on the recruiting trail and add a number of great players, including former TBT champions DJ Kennedy and DeAndre Kane. They struggled numerous times to begin the tournament. But now, Boeheim’s Army is starting to pick up their stride going into the quarterfinals.
In the other corner, we have the reigning, defending, TBT champions the Golden Eagles. They look like a team in midseason form. They are utilizing every player on their roster to their strengths and getting them good looks, led by guard Elgin Cook who is averaging a strong 16.7 points on an unreal 85% shooting from the field. They also have something to prove as they were disregarded as tournament favorites once Boeheim’s Army signed Kennedy and Kane.
Honestly, this game is incredibly tough to handicap. These are two great teams, and we should be in for a tightly contested game. Neither team is going to want to give in an inch. And with that, my best bet is to side with the points as this one very well could be ended with a “next basket wins” Elam Ending shot.
The Pick: Boeheim’s Army +2.5
(1) Sideline Cancer -4.5 vs (6) Team 23 7pm EST
Sideline Cancer had a mission on their minds going into this tournament – to redeem themselves after coming so close in the TBT championship game. Marcus “Elam” Keene is coming up so big for Sideline Cancer. He’s averaging 18 points and 6.7 assists in this tournament. He has also added another dramatic Elam Ending shot to his resume.
The scariest thing about Team 23 is that they are an entire team filled with absolute hoopers. They have multiple players where tonight can be their night and they can just absolutely light up the score. Marcus Hall came off the bench to drop 20 points and 4-7 from three to secure their trip to the quarterfinals in a win over Best Virginia.
Pace is going to determine this game. Both of these teams have the ability to get out quickly and early. Sideline Cancer has been here before, but Team 23 is deep. I’ll take Team 23 and the points in this TBT pick on July 31.
The Pick: Team 23 +4.5
(5) The Money Team PK vs (6) Blue Collar U 9pm EST
The Money Team are locked into the 2021 tournament. After an extremely disappointing collapse in the 2020 TBT bubble, this team is playing on a high level and are feeling good after knocking off the 2019 TBT champions, Carmen’s Crew.
Jordon Crawford is the unquestioned leader on this team. Jeff Ledbettor was cold for three-fourths of game one, but now has found his stride and is shooting unconsciously from three. Jarrod Jones is providing some serious minutes for them in the post and taking the pressure off with his scoring in the paint. He also can space the floor by stepping out and shooting the three.
Blue Collar U had a scare in their third-round game against Category 5 when Wes Clark went down. Post-game, it appears to be not as serious, but he will not be 100%. This is big because he unquestionably has been one of their best performers. However, now players like CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins are going to have to step up and help take some of the pressure off of Clark.
Blue Collar U has been a great story as a first-year entrant into the tournament, however, I think The Money Team is just too hot right now for anyone to cool down. I like The Money Team to advance as my TBT pick on July 31.
The Pick: The Money Team PK
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