Semifinals Preview: Scarlet & Gray and Team Challenge ALS set to square off


By: Josh Goldfine & Josh Brown

After dominating their respective regions, Scarlet & Gray and Team Challenge ALS will meet in Baltimore

A true barnburner of a matchup will get things started in Baltimore. Scarlet & Gray, the Midwest Region’s #2 seed, faces off against Team Challenge ALS, the lowest-remaining seed and #6 seed out of the West Region.

Scarlet & Gray, the Ohio State University alumni squad making its first-ever appearance in TBT, proved to be as strong as advertised, running through the Midwest Region and outscoring opponents by an average of 16 points per game.

The team is as deep and talented as any in the field, with talented wingmen William Buford (11.5 pgg) and Dave Lighty (11.3 ppg) supplementing sharpshooter Jon Diebler (9.5 ppg) and lightning-quick backcourt mate Aaron Craft (10.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.3 spg). Former Celtics’ first-round pick and NBA veteran Jared Sullinger (14.5 ppg, 9 rpg, 3.5 apg) provides a strong presence in the frontcourt and is comfortable beyond the arc as well.  

The clock still hasn’t struck midnight for Cinderella, as Team Challenge ALS rolls on to Baltimore following an impressive run through the West Region that included a tough win over a TBT-hardened Armored Athlete squad in the Round of 8. The team has won each of their first four contests by double-digits.

Talented and inspirational GM/small forward Sean Marshall (21.5 ppg, 4 rpg), who tallied a team-high 28 points in an opening-round victory, could return for the semifinals after missing the action in the Super 16. Marshall, who was roommates with ALS-stricken Pete Frates while the two were at Boston College, has pledged that, were Team Challenge ALS to win the $2 million in TBT prize money, that $250,000 would be donated to pay for Frates’ mounting medical bills. The squad has even donned jerseys with “Frates” on the back to symbolize who they are playing for in TBT. But, this isn’t just a feel-good story, as two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year Casper Ware (15.8 ppg) leads a talented offensive attack for a squad playing with passion equal to any in TBT history.

Scarlet & Gray and Team Challenge ALS will tip off the semifinal action on Tuesday, August 1st at 7:00 PM ET, live on ESPN. The winning team will advance to the $2 million, winner-take-all championship game on Thursday, August 3rd at 7:00 PM ET, live on ESPN.