Wichita State and Kansas may end up playing at Koch Arena after all.
The path to Chicago and a $2 million purse in The Basketball Tournament was finalized Tuesday. Wichita State’s alumni team, the Aftershocks, and KU’s Self Made team could play in the second round.
The Aftershocks were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Wichita regional, which will take place July 25-28 at Koch Arena, while the KU alumni team was awarded the No. 3 seed.
“We’re just excited still for the opportunity to come back and play in front of Wichita State fans again,” Aftershocks organizer and former Shocker Karon Bradley told The Eagle. “I feel like our region is probably the best region, as far as the quality of the teams go. I don’t want to look ahead because we have a game in the first round to take care of, but I know fans would love to play KU and that’s something we would look forward to as well.”
Both teams will be featured on opening night, Thursday, July 25, as Self Made plays Sideline Cancer at 6 p.m. and Aftershocks take on Iowa United at 8 p.m. with both games broadcast on ESPN. The potential WSU-KU game would be 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27 with the championship game 2 p.m. Sunday, July 28.
The Kansas State alumni team, Purple & Black, is also included in the field and was awarded the No. 5 seed. They will play the Colorado alumni team, Team Colorado, in the first round on Friday, July 26. The Marquette alumni team, Golden Eagles, is the top seed in the regional.
ESPN released its rankings of the 64 teams in TBT with Marquette checking in at No. 5, followed by KU’s team at No. 9, Wichita State at No. 15, Colorado at No. 20 and K-State at No. 28.
All-session passes starting at $45 are still available at GoShockers.com. The Wichita regional has a prize purse of more than $51,000, which dwarfs the second-most at $13,590 raised by the Syracuse regional.
Bradley said the excitement among the former WSU players is starting to build now that everyone has completed their professional season overseas and can now focus on TBT.
The Aftershocks roster features guard Malcolm Armstead (2011-13 at WSU), guard Tekele Cotton (2011-15), forward J.T. Durley (2006-11), forward Cleanthony Early (2012-14), guard Conner Frankamp (2015-18), guard Clevin Hannah (2008-10), forward Rashard Kelly (2014-18), center Shaquille Morris (2013-18), guard Toure’ Murry (2008-12), guard Joe Ragland (2010-12) and center Garrett Stutz (2008-12).
Bradley also announced the addition of Shannon Shorter, a 6-foot-3 guard who graduated from North Texas and currently plays professionally in the Korean Basketball League.
“All of the guys are really excited about this,” Bradley said. “We have a group chat and we’ve been communicating a lot lately. The guys are really excited about coming down and getting started. We’re having our first practice on July 15, so all but one or two guys will be there for that.”
TBT Wichita regional schedule and teams
Game 1: No. 3 Self Made vs. No. 6 Sideline Cancer, 6 p.m., Thursday, July 25 (ESPN)
Game 2: No. 2 Aftershocks vs. No. 7 Iowa United, 8 p.m., Thursday, July 25 (ESPN)
Game 3: No. 1 Golden Eagles vs. No. 8 Fort Hood Wounded Warriors, 6 p.m., Friday, July 26 (WatchESPN)
Game 4: No. 4 Team Colorado vs. No. 5 Purple & Black, 8 p.m., Friday, July 26 (WatchESPN)
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 1 p.m., Saturday, July 27 (ESPN)
Game 6: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m., Saturday, July 27 (ESPN)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 2 p.m., Sunday, July 28 (ESPN)
No. 1 Golden Eagles: A Marquette alumni team that reached the semifinals of TBT in 2018 before losing to eventual champion Overseas Elite. The team returns former NBA players Jamil Wilson and Travis Diener, while adding top-tier scorers in Dwight Buycks and Andrew Rowsey. Mo Charlo (Nevada) and Elgin Cook (Oregon) have also joined the team as players outside of the Marquette family.
No. 3 Self Made: A Kansas alumni team that features various standout players from the Bill Self era with the Jayhawks. Eljiah Johnson serves as the team’s point guard and general manager, as Wichita native Perry Ellis headlines the group. Other players include Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Travis Releford, Landen Lucas, Tyshawn Taylor and Mario Little.
No. 4 Team Colorado: A Colorado alumni team that was runner-up in TBT in 2016, losing to Overseas Elite in the championship game. Marcus Hall has carved out a reputation as one of the best scorers in TBT and returns to lead Team Colorado along with former Knicks forward Chris Copeland and Colorado’s career leading scorer, Richard Roby. The team has also added former NBA player Xavier Silas and Carlon Brown, a standout player from Colorado.
No. 5 Purple & Black: A Kansas State alumni team that has been one of the longest-running teams in TBT. Under new management of former player D.J. Johnson, the K-State team is still trying to add headliners in Michael Beasley, Jacob Pullen and Bill Walker. For now, the team features former Wildcats in Marcus Foster, Thomas Gipson, Curtis Kelly, Akeem Wright and Martavious Irving.
No. 6 Sideline Cancer: An original TBT team that uses its platform in their fight to help raise awareness and funds to defeat pancreatic cancer. The team is headlined by Marcus Keene, a Central Michigan graduate who led Division I in scoring in 2017. The team also has former collegiate standouts in Maurice Creek (Indiana) and Kevin Olekaibe (UNLV).
No. 7 Iowa United: The team brings together some of the best talent in recent years produced by Iowa, Iowa State and Drake. The team features the first woman to be included on a roster in Megan Gustafson, who will be the first active women’s professional player to play in TBT. The team also includes Iowa standouts Peter Jok, Nicholas Baer, Cyrus Tate, while Iowa State has Josh Young, Marcus Fizer and Tyrus McGee represent Iowa State and Drake has Reed Timmer and Nick McGlynn.
No. 8 Fort Hood Wounded Warriors: A mix of professional players and veterans, the team has vowed to donate a portion of the winnings to the Wounded Warriors project. The team is headlined by Oklahoma graduate Rashard Odomes, while Devon Wilson scored 36 in a TBT game last summer and Nikko Acosta played in college at Lamar.