Abell, Creek advance to TBT regional final

WICHITA, Kansas — Two down, one to go.

Former Indiana University basketball standouts Mo Creek and Remy Abell kept their hopes of a $2 million payout on Saturday as Sideline Cancer knocked off the hometown Aftershocks, a Wichita State alumni team, 87-79, at Koch Arena.

Sideline Cancer, seeded sixth in the regional, upset No. 3 seed Self Made, a Kansas alumni squad, in the opener Thursday and followed up by knocking out the second-seeded Aftershocks.

Next up is No. 1 seed Golden Eagles, a Marquette alumni team, in the regional final Sunday at 4 p.m. The winner advances to the final four next weekend in Chicago.

Creek and Abell led the way for the underdogs, finishing with 22 and 20 points, respectively.

“Man, we’ve just been fighting,” Abell told ESPN in a postgame interview. “We believe, that’s our motto. Everybody’s just coming together as a team, playing for one another, leaving egos aside. We know we’re playing for one common goal.”

Sideline Cancer trailed by one at the half, 44-43, thanks to 13 points from Creek and 11 from Abell.

A quick start to the second half gave Sideline a lead it would not relinquish. The advantage rose to as many as 12 late in the third quarter before the Aftershocks rallied behind the home crowd to within four on multiple occasions.

“It’s a hostile environment here, the crowd was amazing for them, but we kept our poise and were able to fight and keep it going, and we got the win,” Abell told ESPN.

But Creek, who was 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3 to go with five rebounds, teamed with the hot-shooting Abell, who was 7-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3, to keep Sideline Cancer in front.

Using the Elam Ending, where a target score is set by adding eight points to the leading team’s point total with four minutes to play, Creek sparked a quick finish with a 3 to go up 82-75. Marcus Keene, who led the NCAA in scoring in 2017 at Central Michigan, added another 3 for his 16th point before two free throws by DeVonte Upson clinched the victory.

Cleanthony Early led the Aftershocks with 25 points.

Another former Hoosier, Jordan Crawford is in the Syracuse, N.Y., regional final. Playing with top-seeded Boeheim’s Army, Crawford had eight points and four assists in an 84-74 win Saturday. Boeheim’s Army takes on Brotherly Love for the regional title Sunday at 2 p.m.

One comment

  1. I’m finding these games more entertaining than the NBA…They play harder and the crowds have been great. For somewhat slapped together squads, the quality of the basketball is really quite amazing. Less selfish play on the floor than some former Hoosier teams I’ve witnessed play on McCracken…

    They are having fun and they are playing together. Really a blast watching Creek and Remy light it up…They both have matured a ton and did wonderful jobs in their postgame interviews(Remy’s a stand-up interview with a female sideline reporter immediately after the game…and Mo’s coming just a little bit later as a sit–down affair with Fran Fraschilla and broadcast partner…Good stuff.

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