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Boeheim’s Army comes up short in search for first TBT championship

Boeheim’s Army comes up short in search for first TBT championship
Boeheim’s Army was knocked out of The Basketball Tournament after a 64-48 quarterfinals loss to Sideline Cancer. (Photo: @BoeheimsArmy/Twitter)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (BVM) — The Basketball Tournament (TBT) came to a conclusion on July 14 with the Golden Eagles taking home the annual $1 million prize as champions. 

With high hopes coming into the tournament, Boeheim’s Army fell short, losing to Sideline Cancer, 64-48. The Syracuse alumni team entered the 2020 tournament as the No. 3 seed and had hoped that this would be the year they came out on top.

In their quarterfinals game against No. 22 Sideline Cancer, Boeheim’s Army would get out-rebounded by their opponent’s big men. Sideline Cancer forward Eric Thompson grabbed 18 rebounds in the team’s win over the No. 3 seed. Boeheim’s Army coach Ryan Blackwell, talked about how important that aspect of the game was in their loss with The Post-Standard.

“I think Donte (Greene) did a pretty good job against (Isaac) Haas the first game, but the Sideline Cancer team was really physical,” head coach Ryan Blackwell said. “You always need a guy like that – a guy who’s going to go out there and do one job.  What Justin Burrell does for Overseas Elite. You need warriors like that who are going to do the little things.”

Sideline Cancer would come up just short of winning the tournament after knocking out the Syracuse alumni team, losing 78-73 to the Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni) in the TBT finals.

The Syracuse alumni team leaned on its roster made up of height and experience. The team consisted of Eric Devendorf, Brandon Triche, John Gillon, Demetris Nichols, Malachi Richardson, Donte Greene, Andrew White, and Will Rayman.

Eric Devendorf continued his TBT run with another successful tournament. The veteran guard has now played in all six tournaments and received high praise for his efforts from Boeheim’s Army general manager Kevin Belbey when he talked with Spectrum News.

“Every year, I expect a little bit of decline, and it just doesn’t happen,” Belbey said. “He’s our best player, he’s a quasi-assistant coach, he helps recruit players. He’s somebody we’re really proud to have on our team, and he can continue to play as long as he wants.”

Coming into their 2020 TBT run, Boeheim’s Army lost two critical pieces in 6-foot-11 forward Chris McCullough, and 6-foot-10 forward Tyler Lydon. Even with major losses before play, the Syracuse alumni team came out strong with a 76-69 win against Men of Mackey before their loss against Sideline Cancer.

Last year the team also came up short, losing in the last round of the Syracuse Regional bracket to Brotherly Love. General manager Kevin Belbey plans on fielding a team for the 2021 tournament.

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