By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
While the rest of the college basketball world was focused on the Final Four over the weekend, Baylor men’s basketball senior guard Manu Lecomte laced up collegiately one last time to compete in the inaugural 3X3U National Championships in San Antonio.
The event, held at St. Mary’s University, consisted of 32 Division I Conference teams of senior college basketball players competing against each other in 3-on-3 half court basketball games played to 21 points.
Each player was nominated by the 3X3U selection committee, composed of college basketball media members from various outlets and organizations.
Lecomte, Iowa State guard Donovan Jackson, Oklahoma State guard Kendall Smith and Texas Tech forward Zach Smith represented the Big 12 Conference at the games.
The No. 1-seeded Big 12 squad competed shorthanded, however, as Smith injured his ankle in practice on Thursday.
The first two days of the championship consisted of pool play. The Big 12 joined the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Big Sky Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association in Pool 1.
On day one, the Big 12 and SWAC opened the event, and while Jackson scored the first points of the entire event, the SWAC came away with the 21-11 win.
Later in the day, the Big Sky dropped the Big 12 to 0-2 with a 21-14 victory.
To open action on Saturday, the Big 12 faced the CAA with the threat of being knocked out of playoff contention. The CAA dominated, 21-8, to eliminate the Big 12 from playoff contention and end their run at the inaugural 3X3U National Championship.
Men’s basketball student manager Drew Mastin attended the event, and, despite the Big 12 team going winless, said it was good to see Lecomte play one more time.
“It was fun being there and seeing him suit up with guys he’s played against the last few years,” Mastin said.
The Big 12 players missed out on cash earnings by going 0-3 in the event. Each pool play, quarterfinal and semifinal win paid out $1,000, and the team that won the championship received $50,000.
Mastin said the teams received bags of cash when they won, which made for a fun celebration and laid-back environment.
“Throwing bags of cash at the teams when they won was really fun to watch,” Mastin said. “The tournament was really well done because they clearly put thought into it without taking themselves too seriously.”
The Big 10 team comprised of Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate, Purdue forward Vincent Edwards, Minnesota guard Nate Mason and Indiana guard Robert Johnson won the event with a 21-13 championship game win over the Big West.