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USF alumni hoops team makes national tourney

Former USF and King High standout Toarlyn Fitzpatrick will compete for the Tampa Bulls in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), which features a $2 million prize.

Times file photo

Former USF and King High standout Toarlyn Fitzpatrick will compete for the Tampa Bulls in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), which features a $2 million prize.

USF (or a variant thereof) is headed to the big dance (of sorts).

The Tampa Bulls, a team of prominent former USF players, has received an at-large selection to The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team national event in its fourth year. The tournament champion receives the winner-take-all $2 million purse.

The Bulls roster includes PG Anthony Collins (catalyst of USF's 2012 NCAA Tournament run), G Dominique Jones (No. 5 all-time scorer in program history), and former low-post standouts Terrence Leather and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, both of whom remain among USF's top 10 career rebounders.

The Bulls will compete in the opening rounds of the South Region starting July 8 at Queens University of Charlotte. The "Super 16" is held in New York City, and the four region champions convene at Baltimore's Coppin State University for the Aug. 1 semifinals and Aug. 3 title game.

The championship contest will be televised live on ESPN, with all other games being shown on an ESPN platform.

This year's tournament features more than three-dozen players with NBA experience, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Former overall No. 1 pick Greg Oden will suit up for Scarlet & Gray, a team of Ohio State alumni. Villanova's team will feature a quartet of players from the Wildcats' 2009 Final Four squad.

Two-time defending champ Overseas Elite, a squad composed of former collegians playing overseas, is back (and in the Bulls' region). Even the Washington Generals -- perpetual flunkies to the Harlem Globetrotters -- are entered (with Turner Sports' Kenny Smith serving as GM).

Nine teams from each region were chosen based on a fan vote, while six others who met eligibility requirements (at least seven players, 100 fan votes) were chosen at-large. The last four slots (one team for each region) will be determined at this weekend's TBT Jamboree at Philadelphia University.

Teams must pay their own expenses for the first two rounds, but the tournament picks up the tab from there.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 2:05pm]

    

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