The second round of The Basketball Tournament, the annual 64-team, $2-million winner-take-all competition played in venues across the country, pitted the West Region’s No. 1-seeded Team Colorado (former players from the University of Colorado) against No. 9 seeded Team Broad St. Brawlers (comprised of some of the best players from Philly) at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas.
Team Colorado advanced to the round of 16, winning 111-95 thanks to a huge second half.
Team Colorado was off to a slow start at the half, although it was a high-scoring affair due in part to plenty of free-throws, but still somehow managed to lead 51-49.
Marcus Hall kept Colorado steady at the half with 15 points. Chris Copeland added 14 but Dwight Thorne II, head coach for Team Colorado, said there was changes that needed to be made if they wanted to win the game.
“We told guys at the half that there was 21 points off of second-chance points and offensive rebounds, so we challenged our guys to eliminate those and see what happened,” Thorne said. “We did that and we got on the boards and eliminated those kind of runs, ultimately leading to a big second half.”
The second half was a completely different game, as Team Colorado dialed in on the defensive end. The first few plays included two straight steals that led to a Dominique Coleman 3-pointer and a Copeland 3-pointer to put them up seven.
From there, the team just never looked back.
Hall and Copeland picked up where they started in the first half, finishing with 30 and 31 respectively.
“At the half I was just [taking] what the defense was giving me,” said Hall. “We were getting some good looks as a team and some of them weren’t falling, but we kept at it and they started falling. We played well as a team and things started to look up.”
Team Colorado will next play a squad with a core of mostly former Indiana Hoosiers, in addition to a pair of Oregon Ducks, called Armored Athletes who have been cruising this year.
That game is slated for Saturday, July 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. at 2 p.m. MDT. It will air on ESPN2.