The Basketball Tournament is still on for 2020, but it will be played in a modified format due to COVID-19.
As announced in a news release on Wednesday, this year's TBT will feature 24 teams and will consist of 23 games played over 10 days, all in a single location.
Introducing the new TBT 2020— TBT (@thetournament) May 27, 2020
1 Quarantined Location
The most intense week and a half in tournament history pic.twitter.com/Kdr4gihVWx
All participants will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the location, which has not yet been announced, and will be quarantined for the duration of the tournament. Participants will be tested again after a quarantine period and screened regularly for symptoms, and any positive test will result in the removal of that participant's team from the tournament.
Under normal circumstances, The Basketball Tournament features 64 teams and is played at a variety of locations. Ohio State's Covelli Center was set to host one of this year's regionals, headlined by Ohio State alumni team Carmen's Crew, the defending champion of the tournament. In order to provide a safe environment for tournament participants, however, TBT decided it was necessary to scale down this year's event.
“After reviewing all available science and data, working with experts, and receiving support from our partners, we’ve devised a plan we are confident protects the health and safety of our participants and staff to the greatest extent possible,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said in a statement. “At the forefront is our single-elimination format, ability to test and quarantine the field and keep teams separate at all times. We look forward to hosting an incredible group of teams and crowning a champion this summer.”
All fans who purchased tickets to this year's TBT will receive full refunds, per Wednesday's announcement.
While the 24-team field for this year's tournament has not yet been announced, it's presumable that Carmen's Crew – led by former Ohio State players Aaron Craft, William Buford, Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Evan Ravenel, Dallas Lauderdale and Lenzelle Smith Jr. – will have a guaranteed spot in the field as long as everyone is healthy, given its status as the defending champions.
Two other teams featuring Ohio State alumni are also hoping to play in this year's tournament: Big X, whose roster includes Andrew Dakich, C.J. Jackson, Andre Wesson and Keyshawn Woods, and Great Lakes Elite, a new team started by former Ohio State walk-on Jake Lorbach whose roster includes Marc Loving and Kam Williams. With more than 115 teams applying to participate in this year's tournament, however, it's uncertain whether those teams will make the cut down to 24.