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Former Wake Forest Stars to play in “The Basketball Tournament” This Summer

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Pro Deacs from across the world are joining up to compete in one the most fun sporting events of the summer.

Florida State v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ever wanted to see some of the best Wake Forest basketball players of the 2000’s and 2010’s put on the Black and Gold again in a winner-take-all tournament format? You’re in luck. One of the best sporting events of the summer, the aptly named “The Basketball Tournament” (or TBT for short) is back for its 5th season this July, and Wake Forest is looking to have a squad in the showcase for the first time in its history. A select group of former Deacon stars of the last 20 years are officially joining up to take on a wide assortment of teams from across the world.

The grand prize is a $2,000,000 check to the team that perfects the “Survive-and-Advance” motto better than the other 71 qualified teams. But before you start filling out your brackets with the Deacs as the last squad standing, the team needs your help in simply getting selected for the increasingly more competitive and popular tournament. Here’s an infographic that explains how it all works.

Here’s the Breakdown:

  • Each region will be comprised of 18 teams, 9 of which are bids that go to teams with the most fans supporting them on the TBT official site from today up until June 1.
  • The other 9 regional bids go to teams that are “At-Large” selections, pay $5k to get in, or won the regional last year. Of course, the goal is to simply have Wake’s team selected by having the most votes in the region, rather than have to wait for an “At-Large” spot
  • 10% of the $2 million grand prize goes to the Top 201 fans of the tournament’s winning team, which are determined by those who engage with TBT’s brand on social media, refer other fans to support the squad, etc. So yes, you can also make money by supporting the Deacs if they end up winning the whole thing. Pretty cool stuff.

All games can be watched live on ESPN, ESPN 2 and WatchESPN throughout July and August, making it easy to follow along as teams advance from one round to the next. The tournament has also had some pretty cool traditions over the years, including letting winning teams place their name into the next round on a humongous live bracket board.

If this sounds like something you may have seen recently, it’s because the NCAA Tournament officially adopted it this year for its own set of games. Here’s everyone’s favorite Missouri Valley Cinderella stamping their victory just a few weeks ago on the big bracket.

So what can you do now? First and foremost, get ready to support Wake’s TBT team on the official TBT site, and start motivating others to do the same. While the team isn’t officially in the system yet, as soon as it is announced we’ll send out a link for you to register as a Wake TBT Fan. We’ll then be able to easily see how our support is comparing to other teams across the South and if were in position to get one of the 9 “Fan Support” bids into the dance. Wake Forest has one of the best fanbases in the nation, but our school’s small size will mean we’ll need a whole team effort here to make sure we do our part and get the Deacs into the tournament.

Secondly, go follow the official Wake TBT Twitter account @WakeDaNationTBT if you haven’t already. You’ll be able to interact with the leaders of the team and be able to follow along as they chase the $2 million dollar prize and a chance at TBT glory. While the roster hasn’t been released yet, the team’s GM and Head Coach this year will be former players Gary Clark and Mike Lepore respectively. For ideas on who else could officially be a part of the squad, the graphic below might be worth a look...

Lastly, be sure to stay tuned for Wake TBT updates throughout the next couple of weeks here on Blogger So Dear. From an official roster countdown, to 1v1 interviews, and our favorite memories in Black and Gold by the players, we’ll have it all covered for you here on BSD until the tournament gets underway in July. Get ready for a fun couple of months of supporting your favorite Deacs and be sure to spread the word of how all WFU fans can help. Stay calm and let’s help our guys #WakeTheNation.