Former ODU hoopsters have two million reasons to get the band back together

ODU hoops in The Basketball Tournament

NORFOLK, Va. - The Basketball Tournament. Basic name, big deal.

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is a winner-take-all tourney paying $2 million to the champion. Anyone across the globe can enter a team, but fan voting determines which squads actually make the 72-team bracket.

Monarch Nation, a crew consisting of almost entirely ex-Old Dominion University basketball players - including some still playing the game internationally, receives enough votes to enter the field.

The ODU squad opens TBT play Saturday in Richmond.

Jordan Baker, Aaron Bacote

"We had been talking about it for a while," admitted former ODU forward Richard Ross. "Most everybody is overseas, some people are working - so it's hard to get everyone back together. But we started planning early enough that everyone was able to be free at the same time. It worked out, we put the squad together, got enough votes to get selected - so we're just ready to go."

Team Monarch Nation is the 9-seed in the South region. It plays a team from Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) Saturday at 4:20 at VCU's Siegel Center.