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After seven seasons of rough defeats, Boeheim’s Army got over the hump for the first time in team history in 2021, winning The Basketball Tournament’s $1 million prize. Now, Syracuse will be a regional site for the 2022 tournament for the first time in three years.
The games will be played at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena, starting on July 22 and ending on July 25. BA failed to make it out of the regional round the last time it hosted play, but it will likely have a No. 1 seed this year as the defending champions.
“As the reigning TBT champions, Boeheim’s Army earned the right to begin its title defense in its hometown,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said. “We loved the atmosphere in SRC Arena back in 2019, and we’re looking forward to bringing it back there in partnership with the Boeheim Foundation next summer.”
Syracuse will host the second weekend of play for the tournament, alongside Wichita State, West Virginia and Dayton. The quarterfinals will be played in Wichita State and Dayton, while the semifinals and finals will only be held in Dayton.
Last season, BA’s team looked different from years past, with non-Syracuse alumni scoring 48% of the team’s points. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumnus Keifer Sykes was one of the most vital additions, hitting the final million-dollar shot while providing key baskets in the Elam Ending throughout the tournament. Sykes, Tyrese Rice, Deandre Kane and D.J. Kennedy joined the roster last summer. Kennedy and Kane had four and three TBT championship wins, respectively, while Rice and Sykes had several years of overseas experience in Europe.
“Without those guys, we wouldn’t have won,” former Syracuse and BA founder Eric Devendorf said. “Those four guys were the difference makers.”
BA also brought in a new coach, Jeremy Pope, who is currently an assistant coach at the University of Portland. With help from Devendorf, Pope was able to create a game plan suited to the new additions’ strengths, allowing Boeheim’s Army to go undefeated in 2021.
Still, Boeheim’s Army may look different next season as Devendorf said last season might have been his final one with the team. Devendorf has been on the team for all eight years, playing a key role off the bench in 2021.
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