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Expert picks, roster breakdown, TV info, tip time for 2019 TBT Final

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Diener hits game winner, will use beer to prep for TBT final (1:34)

Travis Diener hits the game-winning 3-pointer to send the Golden Eagles to the TBT final. He says he'll drink 6 beers to prepare for the next game against Carmen's Crew. (1:34)

Overseas Elite's reign of four straight TBT titles has ended, opening the door for a new champion to be crowned. Enter the Golden Eagles (Marquette) and Carmen's Crew (Ohio State), two alumni teams looking to capture the $2 million, winner-take-all prize in The Basketball Tournament's title game at Wintrust Arena in Chicago (Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Below, we break down each roster from top to bottom, with an eye on which players could have the most impact on the biggest stage, as well as share whom our experts are picking.

Roster Breakdown | Expert picks


Roster breakdown

Carmen's Crew (Ohio State alumni)

William Buford (18.6 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Ohio State, 2008-12
NBA experience (regular season): None

Buford has been a model of consistency throughout the tournament, scoring more than 15 points in all five games. The guard was a similar player at Ohio State, as he never averaged fewer than 11.3 points a night in four seasons in Columbus.

David Lighty (15.0 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Ohio State, 2006-11
NBA experience (regular season): None

As the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man (3.8 per game), Lighty is a perfect complement to Buford. An NIT champion in 2008 and a Big Ten All-Defensive team member in 2011, the wing is another multifaceted player on whom Carmen's Crew can rely.

Demetri McCamey (10.5 PPG), winning share: $150,000
College: Illinois, 2007-11
NBA experience (regular season): None

McCamey didn't log any minutes in the first three games but exploded for 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting in their Super 16 victory over Eberlein Drive. The former four-year Illinois point guard was a star at the collegiate level, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2010 and third-team citations in 2009 and 2011. Now a member of the NBA G-League's Austin Spurs, the 6-foot-3 talent has carved out a solid pro career.

Jeff Gibbs (10.0 PPG), winning share: $150,000
College: Otterbein, 1999-2002
NBA experience (regular season): None

Another non-Ohio State graduate, Gibbs is a 6-foot-2 power forward (crazy, right!?) who was an All-American in both basketball and football at Division III Otterbein College. Carmen's Crew's top rebounder, Gibbs is a four-time All-German League player and currently plays for Link Tochigi Brex in Japan at the age of 39.

Aaron Craft (9.6 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Ohio State, 2010-14
NBA experience (regular season): None

The Buckeyes fan favorite is only fifth on the team in scoring but impacts the game in so many different ways with his leadership, playmaking, defensive energy and occasional rebounding. The point guard is second on the roster in assists (3.4 per game), second in average defensive rating (3.6) and third in rebounds (4.2).

Evan Ravenel (8.6 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Boston College, 2008-10; Ohio State, 2011-13
NBA experience (regular season): None

Every team needs a physical inside presence, and that's exactly what Ravenel provides. The Bulgarian Basketball Cup champion helped Ohio State reach the NCAA Final Four as a junior and is now the fourth-leading rebounder on TBT's roster.

Jon Diebler (7.6 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Ohio State, 2007-11
NBA experience (regular season): None

Shooting, shooting and more shooting. That's what Diebler brings to the table, as he has drilled 11 3-pointers in five games. His specialty from behind the arc dates back to his days in Columbus when he hit 50 percent of his treys in his senior season while averaging 12.6 points a night.

LaQuinton Ross (7.4 PPG), winning share: $150,000
College: Ohio State, 2011-14
NBA experience (regular season): None

Ross, a member of Ohio State's 2013 NCAA tournament Elite Eight team, scored in double figures in the first two games of TBT before playing a tournament-low five minutes in the semifinals. The forward had a few stints overseas before joining the Texas Legends and is now with the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G-League.

Leon Rodgers (1.5 PPG), winning share: $100,000
College: Northern Illinois, 1998-2002
NBA experience (regular season): None

The small forward and Columbus native played four years at Northern Illinois before having a long career overseas that most recently consisted of a stint with Guaros de Lara in Venezuela.

Courtney Pigram (0.8 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: East Tennessee State, 2005-09
NBA experience (regular season): None

Former East Tennessee State point guard Pigram hasn't seen the court much the past two games but could be a valuable commodity off the bench if needed. He currently plays in the Cyprus Basketball Division 1 and was a Cypriot League All-Star in 2018.

Deshaun Thomas (0.0 PPG), winning share: $200,000
College: Ohio State, 2010-13
NBA experience (regular season): None

Thomas has yet to log a minute for Carmen's Crew but remains listed on the roster. The forward averaged 19.8 points in his third and final year at Ohio State in 2013. He was a second-round draft pick by the Spurs but has found a home with Panathinaikos (Rick Pitino's former squad) of the Greek Basket League.

John Williamson (0.0 PPG), winning share: $150,000
College: Cincinnati, 2006-08
NBA experience (regular season): None

Williamson played two years in the Big East with Cincinnati, where he averaged 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Columbus native has struggled to make much of an impact in TBT but played his 2017 professional season in the EuroCup.


Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni)

Dwight Buycks (22.6 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Marquette, 2009-11
NBA experience (regular season): Toronto Raptors, 2013-14; Los Angeles Lakers, 2014-15; Detroit Pistons, 2017-18

As one of the best pure scorers in the tournament, Buycks is the alpha for the Golden Eagles. He scored 34 points in the Super 16 versus Sideline Cancer and has dropped double figures in every game of the tournament.

Jamil Wilson (18.7 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Oregon, 2009-10; Marquette 2011-14
NBA experience (regular season): LA Clippers, 2017-18

Despite struggling to the tune of just eight points in the semifinal win over Team Hines, Wilson's ability to play inside and out has caused matchup nightmares. The ex-NBA forward has knocked down 12 3-pointers and is averaging 8.3 rebounds in three games.

Elgin Cook (15.6 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Oregon, 2013-16
NBA experience (regular season): None

The Milwaukee native Cook (he's the son of ex-Buck Alvin Robertson) has proven to be a valuable asset alongside Wilson and Buycks. The wing's stellar career at the Pac-12 level has carried over to TBT, where he is averaging the third-most points on the roster, second-most rebounds and has played elite defense.

Maurice Acker (9.2 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Ball State, 2005-06; Marquette 2007-10
NBA experience (regular season): None

As the fourth-leading scorer and third-leading assist man, Acker has played a critical role through the run to the final. This isn't Acker's first impressive showing on the big stage, though, as he averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 assists per game as the starting point guard for Marquette in 2009-10. Now, the 5-9 guard has found a home overseas, where he currently plays with Lille Metropole in France.

Andrew Rowsey (9.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: UNC Asheville, 2013-15; Marquette, 2016-18
NBA experience (regular season): None

After scoring in double figures in the first three games of the tournament, Rowsey combined for just seven points in his past two outings. Regardless of his miniature slump, the guard still poses a huge threat as a scorer and floor spacer. He did average nearly 21 a game in his senior season, after all.

Travis Diener (5.5 PPG), winning share: $100,000
College: Marquette, 2001-05
NBA experience (regular season): Orlando Magic, 2005-07; Indiana Pacers, 2007-10; Portland Trail Blazers, 2010

Diener hit the game-clinching 3-pointer against Team Hines to seal a berth to the title game and has found his niche at every level as a shooter. The 37-year-old played six seasons in the NBA and has won two Italian Cup titles with two different organizations.

Mo Charlo (4.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Nevada, 2004-06
NBA experience (regular season): None

A rebounder and active defender, Charlo is an important role player heading into the final. His standout play went beyond his career at Nevada, as he was an NBA D-League All-Defensive first-team member and an All-Star in 2014.

Cinmeon Bowers (4.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Auburn, 2014-16
NBA experience (regular season): None

In two seasons at Auburn, Bowers nearly averaged a double-double (11.4 points, 9.6 rebounds) while starting in 54 of 64 games played. The native of Wisconsin joined the Golden Eagles this summer and had his biggest game in the opening round when he dropped 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

Lawrence Blackledge (2.8 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Marquette, 2006-08
NBA experience (regular season): None

Blackledge scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds combined in the first two rounds before playing limited minutes in the final three games. The 6-8 small forward began his collegiate career at Southwestern Illinois College before playing his final two seasons in Milwaukee.

Derrick Wilson (2.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Marquette, 2011-15
NBA experience (regular season): None

Wilson played four years at Marquette and averaged 5.6 points and 4.7 assists per game in his senior season. He was never much of a 3-point shooter or scorer, but his toughness defensively and ability to steadily run a team was valued.

Jarvis Williams (2.0 PPG), winning share: $100,000
College: Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2010-12; Minnesota State, 2012-13
NBA experience (regular season): None

Williams played his college hoops at Green Bay and Minnesota State-Mankato before transitioning to a professional career overseas with BBC Sparta Bertrange in Luxembourg.

Jake Thomas (0.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: South Dakota, 2009-11; Marquette, 2012-14
NBA experience (regular season): None

The guard has played very limited minutes in the event and hasn't scored a point, but if the Golden Eagles are looking for shooting, Thomas is another strong option. He shot 39% from beyond the arc during his senior season and averaged 7.9 points.

Juan Anderson (0.0 PPG), winning share: $138,461
College: Marquette, 2011-15
NBA experience (regular season): None

Anderson graduated in 2015 before transitioning to a professional career in Mexico. He averaged 8.3 points in his senior season of college, using his versatility as an asset.

Jerel McNeal (0.0 PPG), winning share: $1,000,000
College: Marquette, 2005-09
NBA experience (regular season): Phoenix Suns, 2015

McNeal hasn't done much on the floor in this tournament (zero points in over 16 minutes), but Marquette's all-time leading scorer has six games' worth of NBA experience and has carved out a long career overseas.


Expert picks

Jay Bilas: Carmen's Crew (Ohio State alumni) 78, Golden Eagles (Marquette alumni) 72

Seth Greenberg: Carmen's Crew 72, Golden Eagles 70

Dan Dakich: Carmen's Crew 78, Golden Eagles 74

Paul Biancardi: Carmen's Crew 75, Golden Eagles 69

Myron Medcalf: Carmen's Crew 80, Golden Eagles 77

Jeff Borzello: Golden Eagles 74, Carmen's Crew 69

Carmine Carcieri: Carmen's Crew 79, Golden Eagles 74