NMSU & New Mexico alumni team set for round one matchup in TBT
(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – the $1 million, winner-take-all summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN networks – today revealed the eight-team bracket for the New Mexico Regional hosted by The Enchantment, a New Mexico alumni team.
Panamaniacs, a first-year New Mexico State alumni team, were accepted into the New Mexico Regional back in May.
Panamaniacs are organized by former New Mexico State guard Brandon Mason and former New Mexico State assistant Preston Laird.
The team will be coached by NM State Athletic Director Mario Moccia, and his staff will include Laird, Billy Keys, Keith Roberts, Shawn Harrington, Michael Nanez, William Benjamin and Justin Tabor.
Their current roster includes:
- Justin Hawkins (2006-08)
- Jahmar Young (2007-10)
- Wendell McKines (2007-12)
- B.J. West (2009-13)
- DK Eldridge (2013-15)
- Ian Baker (2013-17)
- Braxton Huggins (2014-17)
- Jonathon Wilkins (2014-18)
- Zach Lofton (2017-18)
- Terrell Brown (2018-20)
- Evan Gilyard II (2019-21)
- Johnny McCants (2017-22)
- Lamar Morinia (Montana St.-Northern)
- Jerome Seagears (Rutgers/UNLV)
The rest of the region includes:
- #1 seed Team HEARTFIRE: Coached by former NBA veteran and current ESPN college basketball analyst LaPhonso Ellis, HEARTFIRE's roster features most of the players from the Team 23 roster that made the TBT Championship game in 2021.
- #2 seed Team Challenge ALS: Coached by 13-year NBA veteran Darren Collison, Challenge ALS plays to raise money for ALS research. The roster features former NBA players Archie Goodwin (Kentucky) and Anthony Brown (Stanford), as well as social media phenomenon Julian Newman.
- #3 seed L.A. Cheaters: A Los Angeles based team known for competing in the prominent pro-am the Drew League, the roster features former NBA players Casper Ware Jr. and James Ennis III (Long Beach St.)
- #4 seed The Enchantment: A New Mexico alumni team featuring former Lobo stars J.R. Giddens and Roman Martinez while being led by former UNM standout and NBA veteran Kenny Thomas.
- #6 seed Ram Up: A Colorado State alumni team featuring former 15-year NBA veteran Jason Smith.
- #7 seed Once A Bronco: A first-year Boise State alumni team competing in TBT for the first time.
- #8 seed Competitive Choice: A first-year TBT team based in Houston that secured their spot in the field via buy-in.
The #5 seed Panamaniacs will take on the #4 seed The Enchantment (New Mexico alumni) in the team's first-round game on Monday, July 18 at 8 pm MT.
The winner of that game advances to the second round to face the winner of #1 seed HEARTFIRE and #8 seed Competitive Choice on Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm MT.
The New Mexico Regional Championship Game will be played Thursday, July 21 at 7 pm MT.