With $2 million on the line and last year's The Basketball Tournament winner next on its plate, Team Colorado has some serious work to do in the championship game on Tuesday.
The squad, which consists of University of Colorado basketball alumni, has so far beaten five talented teams under the guidance of head coach Dwight Thorne II and the offensive firepower of Marcus Hall, who's averaged 24 points per game so far.
While the roster has a good amount of offensive talent to it, the former Buffaloes have relied on their defensive presence to get the job done thus far. In Sunday's final four win over the Bradley University alumni team, Always a Brave, Team Colorado fell back on its strong defense down the stretch when its opponent closed the scoring gap late.
On Tuesday night at 5 p.m. on ESPN, Team Colorado will face its final — and perhaps most challenging — test of all against last year's champions, Overseas Elite. And with a winner-takes-all prize, it's do or die time for the ex-Buffs.
But that will be no easy task.
Overseas Elite, which hails former players from a number of universities, has been decimating each team it plays with a high-octane offense fueled by several leading scorers, including University of Arizona alum, Kyle Fogg.
In its first five games of the tournament, the Elite squad averaged 91.2 points per game. In its final four game against City of Gods, Fogg logged nearly half the team's points with 42 as it went on to win, 103-92.
Throughout the tournament, however, Fogg hasn't been consistently performing well on offense. But what makes this team dangerous is its ability to share the scoring responsibility among several players, making them unpredictable. Any player can heat up at any time.
But Overseas Elite doesn't seem to have much defense in its repertoire. Even though it has scored 91 points or more in all but one of its games, most wins have only been by 11 points or less.
If Team Colorado wants any chance of achieving its $2 million goal, it'll need to rely on the defensive strategy that's bolstered it this far in the tournament and try to keep any of Overseas Elite's players from getting hot. If it doesn't, the outcome may not work out in the former Buffs' favor.