If you haven't heard about it, it's not too late to catch the pickup tournament that has lured fan favorites from their paid gigs to play for big money prizes - including 2011 St. John's forward, Justin Burrell.
The Basketball Tournament is comprised of 32 teams filled with former college stars and former and current international players. It culminates with a $500,000, winner take all, championship game this weekend in Boston. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 on Saturday June 28, at 8PM.
Some of these players are names you've heard and have even spent time in the NBA, some have had successful pro careers (like Burrell), others have just had a chance to come back to the game for a few weeks.
How did Team Barstool get to the Championship?
Team Barstool was a favorite going in having four former Big East stars in SJU's Burrell, Seton Hall's Andre Barrett, UCONN's Josh Boone, and Providence Friar Donnie McGrath.
In Barstool's first round game, they faced Barstool Sports Philly. Sports Philly is led by St. Joe's alum Halil Kanacevic, Langston Galloway and CJ Aiken. They also featured Euro League Players Torey Thomas and Jeff Xavier.
The talent level was too high for the Sports Philly crew as Team Barstool entered halftime with a 17 point lead. Former Pirate Andre Barrett scored 13 points and had 17 assists. Dhantay Jones lit it up with 29 and Barstool received 24 point contributions from Josh Boone and former Florida Gator Matt Walsh. Team Barstool would go on to win the blowout 111-84. Justin Burrell pitched in as sixth man with a solid performance scoring 10 points to go along with 7 rebounds, an assist and one steal.
In their second round game Barstool faced a much stiffer challenge from PUBB Champions Tour led by Princeton alum Jimmy Sherburne and his 18 points.
The game was hotly contested with Barstool clinging to a narrow lead for most of the game. PUBB's Doug Davis narrowly missed a three pointer at the buzzer that would of sent Barstool packing. Justin Burrell was the only player to come off the bench for Barstool as he logged 29 minutes of play. It was Justin's strongest game of the tournament - he went 6-10 from the floor scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with a block and one assist. Justin's play would prove crucial as Barstool narrowly escaped with a 68-66 victory, moving on to the quarter final round.
The DMV All-Stars proved to be a tough test led by former Hoya Austin Freeman and his 25 point effort. Dhantay Jones continued his torrid scoring pace leading Team Barstool with 24 as every starter scored in double figures. Again, the former St. John's power forward Justin Burrell did his part contributing 8 points while leading the team in rebounding with 7 boards in only 17 minutes of play. Burrell scored on 3 out of 4 field goal attempts and went a perfect 2-2 from the charity stripe. This was Barstool's third game in just two days as they played twice on June 7th, with the semi-final played only a day later on June 8th.
Former Fordham star Smush Parker and teammate Luke Bonner helped lead the charge against Barstool in a hotly contested semi final matchup. With a trip to the $500,000 championship game on the line, both teams came ready to play. Luke Bonner, whose brother Matt just finished playing for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals, scored 14 points and grabbed 7 boards while teammate Parker was busy going for 20 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
After entering the half with a comfortable 10 point lead Barstool was outscored in the second half but managed to hold on for the 87-81 overtime victory. Barstool has had plenty of time to rest up for the final and may benefit from the addition of Quincy Douby and Shavlik Randolph. With Barrett playing so well, Douby will add some depth at point guard for the Championship game but it is not certain if he will play.
Justin Burrell's minutes may be affected by the addition of Randolph as there will be a logjam at power forward with Josh Boone starting. Burrell will be looking to improve on his numbers from last game where he went for 6 points, 5 rebounds while playing only 19 minutes.
The Championship will feature Team Barstool vs. Notre Dame Fighting Alumni. Word on the street is former McDonald's All-American and 6'11'' Torin Francis, fresh in from Venezuela, will be suiting up for the Notre Dame alum. Notre Dame is coming off a dominating 91-61 victory over The Peace Players and will look to keep the momentum going as they have won every game by double figures.
It should be an exciting finale with that much cash on the line. Make sure to tune in this Saturday at 8pm on ESPN 3 to watch the finals of The Basketball Tournament Live. Good luck to Team Barstool and St. John's own Justin Burrell in the finals.
Where has Justin Burrell been?
After spending four years at St. Johns Justin Burrell has gone on to be a successful Euro league player and recently, a father. Justin spent the 2012-13 season playing for Chalons-Reins CB a member of the French Pro League.
He averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds while starting 37 games. He averaged a respectable .617 FG percentage and shot just over 70 percent from the foul line.
After a successful season with Chalons it was reported on Rumble back in August that Justin is now playing for another French A-level club, Cholet. Only averaging 17.4 minutes, Justin made the most of his time on the floor by scoring 7 points a game and averaging almost 4 rebounds. In 41 games with Cholet, Justin received 3 starts.
Any other former Johnnies in the Tournament?
In addition to Burrell former St. John's point guard Nurideen Lindsay was also in the tournament. Lindsay scored 27 points to go along with 6 boards and 5 dimes in his first round game before bowing out in the second round as part of Team Foe.