March Madness has a new ancillary event sure to generate interest among fans.
And income among participants.
A 3-on-3 tournament, composed of college seniors who have exhausted their eligibility, will be held the week of the Final Four in San Antonio. The event features a lucrative cash purse (for college kids, anyway), with the winning team earning $50,000.
Details can be found in this story. The 32-team bracket will feature teams from every Division I conference. It starts Friday, March 30, and concludes with a best-of-three championship April 1 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Word of this event (not affiliated with the NCAA) immediately got us to thinking about The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the annual 64-team event (with a winner-take-all grand prize) that featured a team of USF alumni last summer.
This three-on-three showcase differs in terms of format and — how do we put this delicately — freshness. Whereas many of the players in the TBT field had been out of the college game for some time, some of the three-on-three participants will have played their final college games only days before.
Players whose teams lost in the Elite Eight will be eligible (and chosen by a selection committee). Florida's Chris Chiozza, USF's Terrence Samuel and Texas Tech's Justin Gray (a Berkeley Prep alumnus) all conceivably could play, with the chance to earn cash.
That's one potential shining moment few players are likely to pass up.