NYC National Tournament schedule reveal: The defending champs get a tough first test

DMV Ballers

DMV Ballers

Up until August 21, we’ll be releasing the pool play schedule for the 2019 New York City National Tournament. Here is the second game of the tournament, set to take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 24.


DMV Ballers (MD) vs. FMB (NY)

The defending champs kick off their title defense with a tough game against FMB. Last year, DMV Ballers ended up playing against the 9 and 10-seed in pool play, which helped them get the 1-seed. A reason those two teams ended up being the 9 and 10 seeds was because the DMV Ballers beat them by a lot, so they made their schedule look easier than it possibly was, but there’s no doubt that FMB will be the toughest team they’ve played in pool play.

FMB kicked off their tournament last year against the Bulls, who got the 3-seed and made it to the championship, so this is nothing new to them. They also kicked off their tournament in 2017 against the Thundercats, the eventual champions, and ended up beating them. We’ll see how they fare with another tough start.


Key Matchup

Brandon Allen (DMV Ballers) vs. Spencer Smith (FMB)

Both of these players were taken in the top nine of my fantasy draft piece earlier today, so you know this is a matchup featuring elite talent. These are two of the best perimeter players in this tournament, and both have the ability to catch fire from outside.

Smith in the 2017 tournament

Smith in the 2017 tournament

Allen has a career average of 40% from deep, and it only dips to 39% in the tournament. Smith shoots 44% from deep in his career, and that gets elevated to 47% in the tournament. Both have played in five national tournament games, so we’re working with the same sample size.

Both of these teams have multiple guards and wings that can score in bunches, so who knows if these two will guard each other that much, but both players are second or third scoring options on their respective teams, so if one of them gets hot, that could be the difference.


Prediction

This will all depend on FMB. We’ve seen DMV Ballers play consistently well over the course of a tournament, going 5-0 on their way to a title last year. FMB has been all over the place, and it’s impossible to predict if the good or the bad version of them is going to show up. I have to stick with the defending champs here; DMV Ballers by eleven points.