The inaugural 3x3U National Championship is underway and the biggest loser so far is the Pac-12. Dos Equis, the big sponsor of this tournament, wanted to set up a World Cup style tournament with the 32 Division 1 conferences. They wanted a 4-man team from each conference divided into 8 4-team pools. All was well... until the Pac-12 submitted their team late.
Yes, the space to point and laugh and the Pac-12, a big money conference that could not organize a list of 4 players in time when cash-strapped conferences like the MEAC and SWAC could.
As a result, only 31 of 32 conferences are in this to start pool play. The pool play also works a lot like the World Cup. The top two teams in each 4-team pool advance to the round of 16, pairing down to a single elimination knockout round. Oh, and there is hard cash on the line as follows:
Participants will compete for a $100,000 prize pool that will be distributed as follows:
Each pool play win will earn the team $1,000 ($250 per player split 4 ways).
A quarterfinal win will earn the team $1,000 ($250 per player split 4 ways).
A semifinal win will earn the team $1,000 ($250 per player split 4 ways).
The team that wins the third-place game will earn $1,000 ($250 per player split 4 ways).
The team that wins the championship will earn $50,000 ($12,500 per player split 4 ways).
Okay, we’ve nerded out enough on how this works. How about the games involving our boy Vince Edwards and the Big Ten team with Nate Mason, Jae’Sean Tate, and Robert Johnson? Well, through the first day of pool play the Big Ten guys are 2-0. That means a cool $500 for Vince.
The Big Ten team beat the Conference USA team 21-18 on this late 3 from Robert Johnson:
Robert Johnson from DEEP, splash— 3X3U National Championship (@3X3UHoops) March 31, 2018
GAME OVER. Big Ten team is now 2-0! #3X3U pic.twitter.com/AzlRrLurIF
They also beat the Southland Conference team 21-16 in their first game:
Robert Johnson scored at least 8 points in the Big Ten's 21-16 win over Southland #iubb #3X3U— Josh Margolis (@MargolisNews) March 31, 2018
The Big Ten will play the Southern Conference team tomorrow before moving on to the round fo 16 later in the day. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals will be on Sunday.