LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State’s alumni team, the ‘Panamaniacs’ have learned who they will match up with in the opening round of The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
The TBT revealed the 64-team bracket that will participate in the single-elimination tournament for a million dollars on Wednesday.
The Panamaniacs will begin their TBT journey in the New Mexico Regional. They will open up play against the host team, The Enchantment, which is the University of New Mexico’s alumni team.
The #5 seed Panamaniacs will take on the #4 seed The Enchantment in the team’s first-round game on Monday, July 18 at 8 pm MT. The loser goes home and the winner goes onto the second round to face the winner of #1 seed HEARTFIRE and #8 seed Competitive Choice on Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm MT.
Here is a look at the rest of the teams in the New Mexico Regional:
(1) 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) 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) 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) 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.
(5) The Panamaniacs: A New Mexico State alumni team featuring 2017 WAC Player of the Year Ian Baker and many more Aggie stars.
(6) Ram Up: A Colorado State alumni team featuring former 15-year NBA veteran Jason Smith.
(7) Once A Bronco: A first-year Boise State alumni team competing in TBT for the first time.
(8) Competitive Choice: A first-year TBT team based in Houston that secured their spot in the field via buy-in.
The Panamaniacs will bring in 14 players into the tournament. Here is a look at the current roster.
(Courtesy: NM State Athletics)
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 team will be coached by NM State Athletic Director Mario Moccia, and his staff will include Preston Laird, Billy Keys, Keith Roberts, Shawn Harrington, Michael Nanez, William Benjamin and Justin Tabor.
TV broadcast information will be announced soon. The winner of the New Mexico Regional will advance to Championship Week in Dayton, Ohio from July 28-Aug. 2.
For more information on Panamaniacs and tickets for this year’s TBT, visit TheTournament.com.