A new twist raises the stakes for an event that already has significant meaning for the participants.  The NBA Development League has unveiled the entrants in the Showcase Cup.  

The 11th installment of the NBA D-League Showcase presented by Samsung has the top 8 teams according to their win-loss record compete in a bracketed format tournament style to in a sense determine a mid season champion.

The other 10 teams not competing in the Cup will each play two games to display their talent for NBA general managers and player personnel executives from all 30 teams.  Santa Cruz, California will be NBADL Central from January 15-19.

A full schedule of the event will be issued on Monday January 5, but the teams that earned the right to be in the Showcase Cup include the Sioux Falls Skyforce with their 8-8 record as the #8 seed meeting the top seeded Maine Red Claws who are currently 13-3.  The seeds were determined by the results of games through and including January 1, 2015.

One of those Maine losses came at the hands of the Skyforce at the Sanford Pentagon November 28 in a heart-stopping 99-98 decision when a Khem Birch putback sealed the win which you can witness above.  The Red Claws turned the table 8 days later by defending their home court in a 122-114 triumph over Sioux Falls at the Portland Expo Building.  Tim Frazier notched a triple-double of 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.  Take a look at the evidence below.

Below is a seeding list with records included:

1)    Maine Red Claws (13-3)
2)    Austin Spurs (11-4)
3)    Santa Cruz Warriors (10-4)
4)    Texas Legends (10-6)
5)    Bakersfield Jam (11-7)
6)    Canton Charge (11-7)
7)    Grand Rapids Drive (9-6)
8)    Sioux Falls Skyforce (8-8)

During the NBADL playoffs, the top three seeds have had the opportunity to choose their opponent among the lower four seeds.  However, this tournament will follow the bracketed format with matchups 1 versus 8, 2 against 7, 3 playing 6 and the 4 versus 5 seed contests.

The Reno Bighorns were also at the .500 mark with a mark of 7 wins and 7 losses.  Sioux Falls was deemed to be the higher seed with accumulating 8 victories against 8 setbacks.

For the two teams that advance to the Showcase Cup, the extra game is only for pride as it will not count in the standings.  However it will be one more opportunity to impress the NBA crew on hand and gain a foothold in The Association.