By: Josh Goldfine | @jgoldfine

The Ohio State Buckeyes prided themselves on strong team defense. The formula that led to so many victories in Columbus produced $2 million in TBT winnings in a thrilling championship game in front of a raucous crowd in Chicago. William Buford hit two free throws to cap an 8-0 Elam Ending run for Carmen’s Crew in a come-from-behind, 66--60 victory over the Golden Eagles in a contest that featured 12 ties and 15 lead changes. Buford finished with 14 points in the win for the Ohio State alumni squad, which held Golden Eagles stars Dwight Buycks and Jamil Wilson to just 21 total points. Buford finished as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 17.8 points per game.

“Will’s a pro,” summed up assistant coach Evan Turner. David Lighty had a team-high 17 points in the win for Carmen’s Crew, which captured its first-ever TBT title. Jon Diebler, who finished with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting, stole the ball from Golden Eagles’ guard Jerel McNeal and converted a layup to stretch Carmen’s Crew lead to 64-60 before Buford converted his game-winning free throws. “There’s no better group of guys that I’d rather do this with,” said the sharp-shooting Diebler, who knocked down three of his four three-point attempts. “This tournament is amazing, and winning the money is great. But, to compete with these guys...I’ll cherish that forever.” Jeff Gibbs, the 2002 Division III Player of the Year at Columbus-area Otterbein University who celebrated his 39th birthday with the semi-final upset over previously undefeated Overseas Elite, scored all 11 of his points in the second half for Carmen’s Crew.“Jeff Gibbs was a huge pick up for us,” summed up guard Aaron Craft.

Elgin Cook had 17 points in the losing effort for the Golden Eagles, who battled back from an eight-point first quarter, the team’s lowest-scoring output in any quarter of the tournament, to take a two-point lead into the half before falling. Maurice Acker had 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting for the Marquette University alumni squad.