Open Announce

The Enchantment to Face the Panamaniacs on Opening Night of TBT New Mexico Regional

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – the $1 million, winner-take-all summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN networks – today announced the bracket for this year’s tournament.

The Enchantment, the New Mexico alumni team, will serve as the featured team for one of eight regionals, and welcome seven teams that will compete for the chance to advance. The games, which will take place July 18-21, will be played at The Pit.

The Enchantment, the fourth seed in the New Mexico Regional, are once again organized by former Lobos men’s basketball coach Brandon Mason and Ryan Berryman, UNM’s Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations. The team will be coached by former New Mexico Star and NBA veteran Kenny Thomas (1995-99). The Enchantment’s current roster includes:

  • J.R. Giddens (2006-08)
  • Roman Martinez (2006-10)
  • Dairese Gary (2007-11)
  • Phillip McDonald (2008-12)
  • Darington Hobson (2009-10)
  • Jamal Fenton (2009-13)
  • Drew Gordon (2010-12)
  • Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas (2012-14)
  • Joe Furstinger (2014-18)
  • Elijah Brown (2015-17)
  • Anthony Mathis (2015-19)
  • Scott Bamforth (Weber State)

The rest of the region includes:

  • #1 seed 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 seed 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 seed 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.)
  • #5 seed Panamaniacs: A New Mexico State alumni team featuring former Aggies stars Wendell McKines, Jahmar Young, and Johnny McCants, a member of the 2022 NMSU NCAA tournament team.
  • #6 seed Ram Up: A Colorado State alumni team featuring former 15-year NBA veteran Jason Smith.
  • #7 seed Once A Bronco: A first-year Boise State alumni team competing in TBT for the first time.
  • #8 seed Competitive Choice: A first-year TBT team based in Houston that secured their spot in the field via buy-in.

The #4 seed The Enchantment will take on the #5 seed Panamaniacs in the team’s first-round game on Monday, July 18 at 8 pm MT. The winner will advance to the second round to face the winner of the #1 seed Team HEARTFIRE and #8 seed Competitive Choice on Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm MT. The New Mexico Regional championship game Thursday, July 21 at 7 pm MT on ESPN2.

The winner of the New Mexico Regional will head to Dayton, Ohio for Championship Week at UD Arena from July 28-Aug. 2.

“Albuquerque is honored to welcome back these talented athletes and we look forward to the strong matchup that is sure to engage fans from across the state,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “The Pit is one of the country’s best venues to watch basketball, and it welcomes some of the most loyal fans in college sports. We can’t wait to welcome the players, fans and their friends and families to our city.”

Game information for the New Mexico Regional:

First Round

G1 – Monday, July 18  – 1 pm MT – (3) LA Cheaters vs. (6) Ram Up (Colorado State)
G2 – Monday, July 18  – 3 pm MT – (2) Challenge ALS vs. (7) Once a Bronco (Boise State)
G3 – Monday, July 18  – 6 pm MT – (1) HEARTFIRE vs. (8) Competitive Choice
G4 –  Monday, July 18  – 8 pm MT – (4) Enchantment (New Mexico) vs. (5) Panamaniacs (New Mexico St.)

Second Round

G5 – Tuesday, July 19 – 5 pm MT – LA Cheaters/Ram Up vs. Challenge ALS/Once a Bronco
G6 -Tuesday, July 19  – 7 pm MT – HEARTFIRE/Competitive Choice vs. The Enchantment/Panamaniacs

New Mexico Regional Championship
G7 – Thursday, July 21 – 7 pm MT – Winner of Game 5 vs. Game 6

Individual session tickets for the New Mexico Regional are now on sale at For more information, please contact