Three years after championship loss, Colorado alumni still hopeful about title prospects

 

By: Zach Dupont | @ZachDupont2


Team Colorado using TBT 2016 heartbreak to fuel them

Three years ago, Marcus Hall, Shannon Sharpe, and the rest of Team Colorado were just minutes away from $2 million.

Then it all slipped away.

Team Colorado held a commanding 46-36 lead over Overseas Elite at halftime of the TBT 2016 Championship Game. That lead seemed insurmountable as time kept ticking away. However, as 24 other teams have also learned, you can never count out Overseas Elite.

Led by 18 points from Kyle Fogg, the four-time champs methodically chipped away and eventually took the lead. Team Colorado made a late push, but a DJ Kennedy chase down block and floater on the offensive end sealed the 77-72 win for Overseas Elite.

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“Playing in TBT that first year was absolutely phenomenal,” said Sharpe, a guard for Team Colorado since 2016, “but [that loss] was tough.”

“It really didn’t hit until after the game,” added Hall, a member of the TBT 2016 All-Tournament Team. “In hindsight, we actually had a massive lead for $2 million... Even if we go on to win it this season, that is something I’m always going to remember.”

Getting that close to $2 million left the former Buffs with championship aspirations, but that has been far from the case since 2016. The following year, Team Colorado made it to the Super 16 before falling to Armored Athlete. Last year, the squad was eliminated in the second round by eventual runner-up Eberlein Drive.

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One of the first things Team Colorado believes will get them over the hump in TBT 2019 is understanding what made them so successful three years ago.

“We just have to get that hunger, that fight, that we had that year,” said Hall. “We got better every game, we got to do that again.”

“[In 2016] we had a team that was underestimated, we played with a chip on our shoulders,” said Sharpe. “If you want to win, you absolutely have to go hard, and you have to be dialed in.”

Equally important will be establishing chemistry before the tournament gets underway. 

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“Best part of [TBT] was building relationships with those guys,” said Sharpe. “It’s huge that we got to start building chemistry.”

“Chemistry matters,” added Hall. “That’s why we are going to hold our [training] camp leading up to our regional.”

At the end of the day, the money and exposure are great, but Hall says it’s all about representing the college town he loves so much.

“I love Boulder, I love CU… I’m the biggest CU sports fan,” said Hall. “Believe it or not, we weren’t just trying to win a championship, we were trying to represent CU and put Boulder, and ourselves, on the map.”