Apparently, Marcus Hall is quite set on carrying his fellow former Colorado Buffaloes toward a lucrative jackpot.
The former CU guard was simply magnificent on Sunday in Los Angeles, leading Team Colorado to a 94-85 win against Skinner's Frate Train, a team comprised of Boston College alumni. The second-round victory sent Team Colorado into the Super 16 of The Basketball Tournament, a pro-am competition featuring a $2 million winning jackpot.
The former Buffs will have an opportunity for payback in the Super 16 as they take on Team 23 Friday for a berth in the tournament's quarterfinals. Team 23, comprised largely of former Arizona players, is the top seed in the West Region and defeated Team Colorado in the opening round last year to begin a run that ended for Team 23 with a loss in the 2015 championship game.
Team Colorado will face Team 23 on Friday, July 22 in Philadelphia. The time is yet to be determined but it will be televised on one of the ESPN stations.
"I think it's a great opportunity for redemption," said CU alum Trent Beckley, who is serving as Team Colorado's coach. "Team 23 is very good. It's a special opportunity. You don't get to compete with your friends too often. We're four wins from two million dollars and playing with the guy who is the tournament MVP so far."
That would be Hall, who was red-hot Sunday for Team Colorado. The former CU guard poured in 31 points in 31 minutes, going 6-for-8 from 3-point range and finishing 10-for-13 overall. Hall led four players in double-figure points for the former Buffs, with CU's co-all-time leading scorer Richard Roby adding 23 points and a team-best six rebounds. Marcus Relphorde added 13 points and Dominique Coleman chipped in with 12 points and five rebounds.
Hall was just as potent in Team Colorado's tournament-opening win against Shaare Zedek on Saturday, scoring a game-best 27 points on an 11-for-16 shooting performance.
Beckley said that during last year's one-and-done effort at The Basketball Tournament, Team Colorado stayed at hotels in a less-than-appealing area of Los Angeles near the arena. This year they rented a six-bedroom house as part of a routine to increase team cohesiveness.
The move paid off, and for the remaining rounds The Basketball Tournament will pick up the team's travel and lodging expenses.
"After our first win we weren't happy," Beckley said. "Some guys were playing selfish, but we had 24 hours to fix that problem. And we did. There's no stat sheet now because if we don't win, we're done. We came out Sunday and we really paid well as a team."
It was a busy Sunday for former CU guard Shannon Sharpe, who played 12 minutes in Team Colorado's win and contributed four rebounds and a key late free throw.
That, however, was far overshadowed by the monster dunk Sharpe threw down earlier in the day during a game in the Los Angeles-based Drew League that immediately lit up social media sites.
"Overall it was a great day for the CU Buffaloes," Beckley said.