FAQ

The information provided on this page is intended as a general guideline, subject to the Rules, which provide discretion to TBT concerning the final selection of players and teams.

How can I watch?

TBT will air live on ESPN (7 games), ESPN2 (8 games) and ESPN3/WatchESPN (48 games). All times Eastern.

  • TBT Jamboree: All day Sat June 17 & Sun June 18 (ESPN3/WatchESPN)
  • Rds 1&2 Northeast & South: All day Sat Jul 8 & Sun Jul 9 (ESPN3/WatchESPN)
  • Rds 1&2 Midwest & West: All day Sat Jul 15 & Sun Jul 16 (ESPN3/WatchESPN)
  • Rd of 16 Day 1: Thu Jul 20 @ 5p (ESPN2), 7p (ESPN2)
  • Rd of 16 Day 2: Fri Jul 21 @ 7p (ESPN2), 9p (ESPN2)
  • Rd of 16 Day 3: Sat Jul 22 @ 12p (ESPN), 2p (ESPN), 4p (ESPN2), 6p (ESPN2)
  • Regional Championships: Sun Jul 23 @ 12p (ESPN), 2p (ESPN), 4p (ESPN2), 6p (ESPN2)
  • Semifinals: Tue Aug 1 @ 7p & 9p (ESPN)
  • $2 Million, Winner-takes-all Championship: Thu Aug 3 @ 7p (ESPN)

Where can I buy tickets?

Here. If tickets are still available, they will be sold on-site at each venue on game days as well.

Who can play? Who can enter a team?

Anyone in the world 18 or older. Two wins gets your team on TV. Six wins gets your team $2 million.

Who has won TBT?

In 2014, the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni won. In 2015 & 2016, Overseas Elite won. They’re now 13-0 all-time, making $3 million in the process.

When does the application period run?

April 1 - June 1 at 12p ET. All teams must have at least 7 Players and 100 Votes by June 1 to be eligible, unless they’re playing in through the TBT Jamboree.

What teams get in?

It’s a 64-team field. Sixteen (16) teams will play in each of the four (4) regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, West.

  • Nine (9) of those 16 will be automatically selected based on popularity (# of Votes on TheTournament.com as of June 1 at 12p ET)
  • Six (6) "at-large" teams will be selected in each region. The "at-large" teams must have at least 100 Fans, 7 Players, and meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Rules
  • The final (1) slot in each region will go to that region’s TBT Jamboree winner

How does TBT pick the at-large teams in each region?

We tend to pick the most interesting/notable players, best stories, or people who have played TBT before that we know and respect. We also automatically pick the defending champion in each region.

How do you seed the teams?

Talent, chemistry, leadership and reliability; i.e. how good we think the team is.

How are you scheduling the teams?

Teams match up by seed: #1 vs. #16 and so on. Teams in the Northeast & South will play their first games on Saturday, July 8. Teams in the Midwest & West play their first games on Saturday, July 15.

What is the Experience Ranking?

The Experience Ranking is a tool to let fans know the relative experience level of each team. When a Player signs up, he/she enters his/her highest level played. A team’s Experience Ranking is the cumulative experience level of all of its participants.

Where are the games?

  • TBT Jamboree: Philadelphia University June 17-18
  • South Region Rounds 1/2: Queens University of Charlotte July 8-9
  • Northeast Region Rounds 1/2: Philadelphia University July 8-9
  • Midwest Region Rounds 1/2: Bradley University July 15-16
  • West Region Rounds 1/2: Las Vegas July 16-17
  • Super 16: July 20-22
  • Regional Championship: July 23
  • Semifinals: Baltimore (Coppin State) August 1
  • $2 million Championship: Baltimore (Coppin State) August 3

Buy tickets here

What is the tournament format?

Single-elimination.

What are the game rules?

College rules (5-on-5) except halves are 18 minutes, each team gets 4 timeouts per game, each player gets 6 fouls, the ball advances to half court on a dead ball timeout with less than one minute to play in the game, and international rules on basket interference (except on foul shots). For the TBT Jamboree, experimental rules will be adopted. See more info in the Rules.

Who refs?

TBT hires the best referees. Many of our referees work March Madness or the NBA. Three per game for all games.

How is the prize split up?

GMs will negotiate with each team member over his/her share of the final prize. Those shares will be locked prior to games. GMs/Players/Boosters/Coaches get 90% of the pot and the winning team's top 100 Fans get 10%.

TBT JAMBOREE

What is the TBT Jamboree?

It’s our play-in event. Due to growing demand to get into TBT, we are holding a 16-team play-in event. Four teams will emerge and earn a slot in the field of 64. The Jamboree is also an opportunity for teams to bypass the voting process.

How does the TBT Jamboree work?

On June 17 & 18, 16 teams will gather where TBT started – Philadelphia University – and compete for the final four slots in the field of 64. Registration is first-come, first served. In order to get in, teams must submit a $5,000 registration fee. Four teams will compete to play into the Northeast bracket, four into the South, four into the Midwest, and four into the West. The teams that sign up first decide which region they play into. The first team to buy into each region also decides its opening round Jamboree opponent. The 4 winners of the TBT Jamboree get their buy-in back: $5,000.

Warning: the Elam Ending will be applied to these games.

What is the Elam Ending?

Nick Elam, coordinator of a group of Mensa sports fans, sent us a 67-page Powerpoint deck in August describing a rule that could make the end of basketball games even more exciting. We feel we can boil it down to this: at the first dead ball after the 4-minute mark, the game clock shuts off. At that point, a Target Score is determined. Whichever team gets to the Target Score first wins. The Target Score is determined by adding 7 points to the leading team’s score at the time of the dead ball. For example, if Overseas Elite is beating Boeheim’s Army 75-70 with 4 minutes remaining and there is a dead ball, 82 (75+7) becomes the Target Score. The first team to get to 82 wins. Elam Ending!

Why are you adopting the Elam Ending for the Play-In event?

Nick’s research has shown that deliberate fouling is a shockingly inefficient way for a trailing team to come back: it rarely works. We think this rule change will dissuade teams from fouling for the sake of stopping the clock, thereby reducing the frequent stoppages of play that sometimes plague the end of games, leading to a quicker, more fun experience for fans.

What if 4 teams sign up for the Jamboree to play into the Northeast before me and that’s the region I want to play into?

You must pick another region to play into. It’s first-come, first served.

GMS/BOOSTERS/COACHES/PLAYER QUESTIONS

How do I enter?

Apply here. You have April 1 – June 1 to apply. Every member of your team must create a profile and submit a verification video.

What is the entry fee?

$0, unless you’re playing your way in through the Jamboree, then it’s $5,000.

I just filled out my profile but it I don't see it yet. Why?

You must send a video of yourself to video@thetournament.com so we can verify your identity. In the video, you must state your name, the year, and why.

How is my team's region determined?

Your GM decides which region to apply to.

How am I supposed to carve out three summer weekends for this?

If you make it to the second weekend, you'd be playing on ESPN or ESPN2. If you make it to the third weekend, you'd be four hours of good basketball away from $2 million. This is a "find-the-time" scenario.

Who would make a good GM?

Someone who is organized, responsible, knows a lot of players, and doesn’t mind being on TV. Theo Epstein.

Who would make a good Booster?

Someone with access to a lot of people through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog, media outlet, alumni network, etc. A Booster can be a person or organization. Everyone claims to have friends in high places; now is your chance to prove it. Some examples of past Boosters: John Wall, Michael Rapaport, Matt Ryan, Coach Calipari.

I'm a Player and I know a bunch of other good Players, but we're not interested in getting votes. What should we do?

Buy into the Jamboree for $5,000. If you win two games, you’ll get your money back and a spot in the field of 64.

What are the roster limits?

Teams can have a max of 15 players. The first 9 on your roster are free if they’re added before 12pm (noon) ET on June 1, 2017. Teams can have an unlimited amount of Coaches and Boosters.

How do we add Players to our team if we already have 9 or if it’s after June 1, 12p EST?

You must pay $1,000 per player up until the tournament starts. As you advance through the tournament, you may add more players, but it will cost you increasing amounts. It’s $2,000 to add a player after Round 1, $3,000 to add a player after Round 2. $4,000 to add a player after Round 3. $5,000 to add a player for the Semifinals. And $6,000 to add a player for the Championship. See more in the Rules.

If I’m listed as a player on a team that doesn’t make it in, can I play on one of the teams that did?

Yes.

If my team makes it in and loses, can I hook on with another team?

No.

Can we cut players after June 1 at 12p ET?

No, per the Rules.

I think I'd make a great GM, but I don't know Players. What should I do?

Create your team page and start getting Votes. Players will reach out to you via the CONTACT GM button on your team page once you demonstrate an ability to get Votes. You can even make offers to free agents. It's like a fantasy league. Just make sure to get at least 7 Players on your roster and are in the top 9 in Votes in your region by June 1 to get into the tournament, per the Rules. You'll be able to add great players after you've secured a slot.

I'd like to help my friend's team, but I'm not good at basketball and I'd be a nightmare of a GM. What can I do?

You can either join the roster as a Booster or sign up and vote for that team as a Fan. In either role, your goal will be to help that team get in by recruiting as many other voters as possible. If that team goes on to win it all, you will likely be rewarded with money.

I know a great player, but he/she has another commitment for the first weekend we'd play. What should I do?

He/she can join you for the Super 16 or later, if you make it that far. Lots of teams did this last year, to work around NBA Summer League commitments.

Can women play?

Yes, TBT is open to anyone. We've had 15 women play in TBT thus far, and several more have served as GM or Coach.

What’s the point of admitting teams based on votes?

We want to give Fans power over who plays and want as many people as possible to know about TBT and follow your team.

Any restrictions on what I can name my team?

It can't be offensive. You can't use a name of a high school or university. If your team represents a college alumni group, think of a name that would work as a fan group during the college basketball season (e.g. Boeheim’s Army). If you want to name your team after a company or organization, you must get our approval.

If we want to give our winnings to charity, how do we do that?

Good idea. You can partner with a charity and utilize its outreach to help get Votes. Teams are free to give their after-tax portions of the winnings to any charity they desire (as Notre Dame Fighting Alumni did with Coaches vs. Cancer in 2014). In order to give ALL of your winnings to a non-profit, a non-profit must enter the team itself. If this is an option you'd like to pursue, please email us at info@thetournament.com.

Does TBT pay for travel?

You are responsible for travel to Rounds 1 & 2. If your team makes it to the Super 16, TBT pays for your players and the GM.

Can my team find a sponsor to pay for opening round travel?

Yes. Put them on the team as your Booster and promise them a piece of the prize if you win. Reach out to us at info@thetournament.com with any questions.

What hotel should we stay in?

Once you're selected, we will provide you with a suggested list of hotels for the opening weekend. For the Super 16 and beyond, we will determine where you stay.

FAN QUESTIONS

How do I get involved?

Register as a Fan here. Find a team you wish to vote for and vote for that team. You may vote for one team before June 1 and three additional teams after (four teams total). Voting starts on April 1 and ends prior to games.

I'm thinking of voting for a team. I get why it helps Players and GMs, but what's in it for me?

The top 100 voters of the winning team share 10% of the $2 million dollar prize, or $200,000, per the Contest Rules. The top fan wins $20,000.

How do I become one of the top 100 voters of a team?

By accumulating points:

  • Each time you vote, you get a point
  • Each time you recruit a voter through the links provided on your Account Page, you get a point
  • If you enter the Official TBT Bracket Contest, you get 20 points

I signed up as a Fan last year. Do I have to sign up all over again?

No. You just have to log in. If you forgot your login information, click "Reset Password" at the Login Page. Your points will be reset to 0 each year.

Can I vote for more than one team?

Yes. You can vote for up to 4 teams. You won’t be able to cast multiple votes until after June 1st, but it’s in your best interest to wait anyway, to see how teams shape up leading into the tournament.

Can I switch any of my votes?

No, once a vote is placed, it can't be changed or removed.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

Why are you doing this?

We love high stakes basketball. We dial up the intensity to almost unbearable levels. We also love rewarding fans for their fandom, which is why they split 10% of the prize.

How did TBT begin?

The idea was born in August 2011 when Jon Mugar (@jonmugar) texted childhood friend Dan Friel (@tbtfriel) on a Sunday morning, “what do you think would happen if you gave $50 million to the winner of a single basketball game?” His reply, “it would dominate.” After years of deliberation, discussion, and zero domination, Jon decided to independently launch the event in 2014, without a TV partner or sponsor in place. It began as a $500,000, winner-takes-all event in Philly.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

Email us at info@thetournament.com.

The information provided on this page is intended as a general guideline, subject to the Rules, which provide discretion to TBT concerning the final selection of players and teams.