A team of Notre Dame basketball alums won the inaugural Basketball Tournament, a $500,000 winner take all 5v5 basketball tournament.The Notre Dame Fighting Alums beat Team Barstool 72-68 at Boston University's gymnasium in front of roughly 1,800 fans. The event began with 32 teams playing 4 games in one weekend in Philadelphia. Anyone that has watched college basketball at large during the 2000s would recognize names on almost every roster in the tournament with many teams being composed of alumni squads from specific colleges or regions of the country. A group of Villanova alums fielded a squad featuring Scottie Reynolds and Corie Fisher, while a group of players from multiple Wisconsin schools made up another. The event received coverage from a number of national publications and websites, and the championship game was streamed on ESPN3. In the final, the Fighting Alumni was led by 2011 alum Tyrone Nash who finished with 19 points on 8-10 shooting and took home the MVP award. Ryan Ayers ('09) added 16 points on 3-5 shooting from behind the arc. The game was close throughout, but ND opened up a nine point lead late in the second half. Barstool was able to cut the lead to one inside the final minutes, but the Fighting Alums' D (surprising for anyone familiar with Brey teams) held down the stretch and hit their free throws to win 72-68.
The team included players from throughout Brey's tenure at ND, and coach Brey along with fellow former players Luke Harangody and Tim Abromitas were in the stands for the final game. As soon as the final buzzer sounded, Coach Brey was the first one onto the court to celebrate the win with his former players. The team plans to donate a portion of the winnings to Coaches vs. Cancer while the players will divide the rest between themselves. For a group of players that has mostly bounced around Europe after graduating, the payday is nice, but almost all of the players spoke of the fun of playing for a championship and putting on an (almost) Notre Dame jersey again.
For more information about the event including a replay of the final, visit http://www.thetournament.com/. The organizers hope to continue the event next year, and the ND alums have already expressed interest in defending their title.