The Basketball Tournament: Dayton alums receive first-round bye

The Dayton Flyers alumni team, the Red Scare, was seeded eighth out of 24 teams and will receive a first-round bye in The Basketball Tournament.

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The field and bracket was revealed Tuesday. All games will be played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus from July 4-14. Fans will not be allowed to attend the games because of the coronavirus pandemic, but all the games will be televised on ESPN networks.

"Our Flyer Faithful won't be there," said Devin Oliver, one of seven former Flyers on the roster, during the TBT selection show on Twitter, "which is unfortunate, but I think everyone is just very thankful to the TBT that we have the opportunity to play."

Oliver, a 2014 University of Dayton graduate, is part of a roster that includes two returners from last year: Kyle Davis and Darrell Davis. Rob Lowery and Dyshawn Pierre will make their Red Scare debuts as will two members of the Dayton team that finished 29-2 last season: Ryan Mikesell and Trey Landers.

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"I've developed a relationship with both of those guys," Oliver said. "I felt bad they weren't able to continue their season this year. I think they'll fit in seamlessly. They're both guys who do a lot on the floor. They're winners. I think they'll fit right in."

Dayton now has a nine-man roster. Kendall Pollard planned to play but had to withdraw from the team. Former Dayton walk-ons Joey Gruden and Jeremiah Bonsu manage the team and compiled the roster. Bonsu will not be able to attend the games in Columbus. Gruden may coach the team.

Two members of the Red Scare played for other college programs: Louisville guard Ryan McMahon, who was a senior last season, and Virginia Commonwealth forward Justin Tillman.

According to a TBT press release, the Red Scare is the only team in the field with three members who played college basketball last season.

The Red Scare will start play in the round of 16 on July 8 at a time to be announced. The opponent will be either Big X or the Jackson TN Underdawgs, who play in the first game of the first round on July 4.

Big X has several Ohio State alums. Its roster includes Kaleb and Andre Wesson, Andrew Dakich and C.J. Jackson as well as former Michigan State forward Nick Ward.

The winner of the tournament earns $1 million. An Ohio State alumni team, Carmen’s Crew, won the tournament last year, beating the Red Scare in the third round at Capital University. Carmen’s Crew is the No. 1 overall seed this year.

The Red Scare could face Carmen's Crew in the quarterfinals, which will be played July 10-11.

The Basketball Tournament announced in February it would hold its championship week — the final three rounds or seven games in all — at UD Arena. The coronavirus pandemic forced event organizers to decide to hold the entire tournament at one location in a 10-day period.

The 24-team field also includes alumni teams from Clemson, Purdue, West Virginia, Marshall, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Marquette and Syracuse. All eight quarterfinalists from 2019 return to the field.

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