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House of ‘Paign is back — and better — this summer

It’s TBT time.

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Andres Feliz. Brandon Paul. Mike DAUM!

What more could you want this summer?

Illinois’ ‘alumni’ team competing in The Basketball Tournament, is back this summer, and the squad is looking to take home a title in Dayton in early August.

Let’s start with the road to get there.

The Games

HoP and Always a Brave (Bradley’s alumni team) are co-hosting a region of games in the 64-team tournament at the Peoria Civic Center. (Hey, if we’re going to take the IHSA Boys Basketball State Title games at State Farm Center, might as well give Peoria something still!).

The guys in Orange and Blue will get going against the Jackson TN Underdawgs on Saturday, July 24 at 1 p.m. on ESPN. Bradley’s team will play later that night.

Four games (eight teams) will play that Saturday and Sunday in the single-elimination tournament, with Illinois’ second game on Monday, July 26, and a chance to clinch a trip to the finals on Wednesday, July 28.

Here’s the full bracket.

Want to go and cheer on the group?

Tickets are on sale here!

A reminder: last year’s tournament was quarantined in Dayton, Ohio, and it was small. This year’s is back to TBT’s regular format of 64 teams, with other regions in Wichita, West Virginia and Columbus. Again, the finals are in Dayton.

The Players

You understand the logistics, but WHY would you want to go?

Well, did you watch HoP last year? They were fun as hell.

Right now, fan favorite Malcolm Hill isn’t on the roster for 2021, but a ton of other returnees are, including Andres Feliz, who made a strong showing last summer and got his name on the national radar.

Speaking of national radar, how about Daumination? Yeah, honorary Illini Mike Daum is back this year, after finishing as one of the leading scorers in NCAA history at South Dakota State.

The biggest name joining head coach Mike LaTulip’s squad this year, however, has to be former NBAer and Illini Brandon Paul. BP3 is the ninth-leading scorer in Illinois history and is certainly a welcome addition to the team looking to secure the $1 million, winner-take-all prize in August.

Alright, you convinced?

Let’s get March’s sour taste out of our mouths and win a title.