TBT CEO Jon Mugar Speaks On NCAA's Adoption of Bracket Ceremony


By: TBT Staff | @thetournament

NCAA Adopts TBT Bracket Ceremony Tradition for March Madness

As March Madness begins, you may have noticed a new wrinkle – teams celebrating their victory by physically advancing their school’s name on an oversized bracket. Look familiar? The idea was first brought to life in the inaugural TBT back in 2014 and has been one of TBT's most coveted traditions ever since. It was just after the 2017 TBT championship game that the NCAA first acknowledged that it would be adopting the TBT tradition during this year’s March Madness.


Founder and CEO of The Basketball Tournament Jon Mugar had this to say about the NCAA's adoption of his bracket advancement ceremony:

“When we launched TBT in 2014, we challenged ourselves to come up with a definitive moment that would signify the winning team moving on. So we blew up the bracket, put it inside the arena, and brought it to life. Winning teams advancing their placards onto the next round has since grown into a signature tradition of our event each year. I grew up worshipping March Madness. And the idea that we’ve imprinted a meaningful tradition into the NCAA Tournament is beyond my wildest expectations. We’re thrilled to see it adopted, as it provides teams with an authentic opportunity to celebrate their accomplishment and the fans an opportunity to see players in a different light.”

This year, TBT will feature a 72-team bracket of top-notch professional basketball, featuring college alumni teams, international basketball stars, ex-NBA players, future NBA players, and more competing in a single-elimination, 5-on-5 tournament for a winner-take-all $2 million prize. Games will air on ESPN networks beginning Friday, July 13.  

TBT has attracted some of the best basketball in the world. In 2017, more than 68 former NBA players competed and more than two-thirds of the over 700 players were current professionals. As of today, 14 players who competed in TBT in 2017 are playing or have played in the NBA this season. Overseas Elite, a team of American stars currently playing in top leagues around the world, won for the third consecutive year in 2017, and have taken home an astounding $5 million over three years.