A third team in The Basketball Tournament, a winner-take-all event for a $1 million prize, has been removed because of a positive test for COVID-19.
On Thursday, Mid-American Unity, a collection of former non-Power 5 standouts, became the second team since Wednesday and the third overall to exit the tournament pool after a player tested positive.
Event officials said PrimeTime Players, which features former Texas Tech guard Robert Turner III, will replace Mid-American Unity in the 24-team event that begins Saturday and ends July 14 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
PrimeTime Players will face Team CP3, led by former Wake Forest standout Codi Miller-McIntyre and former Minnesota standout Nate Mason.
"We remain confident in our health and safety plan to reduce risk," said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT, in a statement. "Mid-American Unity has become a staple in TBT and made quite an impression last year. We can't wait to see them play again in TBT next year. Our thoughts are with the team member for a speedy recovery."
The TBT's health and safety plan states that any team with a player who tests positive once the team's mandatory five-day quarantine period prior to its first game begins -- players are tested four times in five days during that process -- will be eliminated.
Last month, Best Virginia, a group of former West Virginia stars, withdrew from the field after one of its players tested positive. It was replaced by Playing for Jimmy V, which features former Gonzaga standout Josh Perkins. On Wednesday, Jackson TN Underdawgs were eliminated from the event after a player's positive test. They were replaced by D2, a collection of former Division II standouts.
The TBT had four replacement teams on standby a month ago due to concerns about COVID-19. The event is down to its last replacement team for the event.
Its comprehensive health and safety plan was endorsed by local and state officials in Ohio. It includes a collection of venues -- the hotel, a convention center and the arena -- that event officials are calling "The Island." Players must take up to six tests -- two before entering The Island -- prior to competition. There will be temperature checks throughout the event and players aren't allowed to socialize with other teams prior to competition.
The event features a collection of talented athletes competing for a $1 million prize in what will be the first nationally televised team basketball event in America since the NBA suspended its season in March after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.
Joe Johnson, a seven-time NBA All-Star, joins Overseas Elite, which had won four consecutive TBT titles and $7 million in prize money prior to last year. Carmen's Crew, which features former Ohio State stars William Buford and Aaron Craft, beat the Golden Eagles, a group of former Marquette standouts, in last year's title game. Both return this season. And Boeheim's Army features four former Syracuse players who were first-round picks in their respective NBA drafts.
"We're disappointed that we will not be able to compete in TBT this weekend, but we understand the importance of the protocols," Mid-American Unity general manager Mike Porrini said in a statement. "Although only one of our 11 participants has tested positive and is asymptomatic, we agree that this is the right thing to do. We wish TBT all the best and we will be back next year."