Travis Diener hit the game-ending 3-pointer, leading the fourth-seeded Golden Eagles to a 78-73 win over 22nd-seeded Sideline Cancer in The Basketball Tournament's championship game on Tuesday at Columbus, Ohio, to claim the $1 million winner-take-all prize.
The game was played to the "Elam ending," in which the contest must end on a made basket. The first team to 78 was to be the winner, and the Golden Eagles led 75-73 before Diener's hoop from the corner.
The Golden Eagles bounced back after losing to Carmen's Crew in the 2019 TBT final. The Golden Eagles' roster consists primarily of Marquette University alumni, including former All-Big East performer Darius Johnson-Odom, who was selected the event's Most Valuable Player.
"I'm speechless because I was able to do it with guys I went to school with," said Johnson-Odom, who averaged 16.8 points in the tournament. "We always wanted to win an NCAA title. Championships don't come easy, so this is going to bond us together forever, so I'm happy I was able to be a big part of it."
The Golden Eagles' Jamil Wilson scored 16 points in the final, leaving his average at 17 points per game.
After getting a first-round bye, the Golden Eagles won three games by single digits to advance to the final of the 24-team event.
Sideline Cancer needed four victories to reach the championship round, prevailing by two points in both the first round and the semifinals. Marcus Keene, a Central Michigan alumnus, topped the Sideline Cancer with an average of 20 points per game entering the final.
Sideline Cancer is the only squad that has appeared in all seven editions of The Basketball Tournament.
--Field Level Media