The whole international pandemic thing that’s going down forced the 2020 March Madness to be cancelled. Or so you thought.
The NCAA is skipping this year’s tournament at all levels, but /r/CollegeBasketball has sponsored its own alternative Men’s Division I tournament: Reddit March Madness. Streamed exclusively on YouTube and executed with a college basketball video game from almost 15 years ago, this year’s March Madness is sure to be unpredictable and full of really dumb turnovers.
Nothing But Nylon is providing the exclusive* coverage of the event from the bedroom of our headquarters. Don’t miss any of the real* quotes and bone-breaking analysis that you’ll only find here because of how exclusive* this content is.
* = this means you can’t sue me
Michigan State Reddit March Madness Results
First Round – Defeated No. 14 seed Little Rock, 82-66
Second Round – Defeated No. 6 seed Virginia, 68-60
Sweet 16 – Defeated No. 10 seed Marquette, 92-82
Michigan State Eyes Second-Straight Final Four Behind Senior Leadership
The Elite Eight has become a familiar spot for Michigan State under head coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans have been to this point now 11 times since 1999, and in most of those times, they won to advance to the Final Four.
Izzo has asserted himself as one of the greatest coaches of his generation and an all-time legend in the sport, but for all of his Final Fours, Sweet 16s and other worthwhile accomplishments, he weirdly only has one national championship to his name.
Like every late run in March or April, this is an opportunity for Izzo to double his title total, and he knows it.
“Will you people stop talking to me about this?” he asked, not nicely. “I’m sick of this. I’ve gone to eight Final Fours, 14 Sweet 16s, including this one, and haven’t missed the tournament since 1997. I also got 10 Big Ten regular season championships and six Big Ten Tournament championships. Oh, and I have a national championship, and I’m not sure if you knuckleheads know this or not, but those are extremely difficult to win. But I don’t have two, so I guess I’m a nobody.”
His demeanor changed when a reporter asked about what it means to Izzo to be on this ride with this current senior class, which includes one of the greatest Spartans of all time, guard Cassius Winston.
“It means so much to me to have these kids on my team for four, sometimes five years,” Izzo said, beginning to get choked up. “You scream at them so much when they’re freshmen. When they’re sophomores, you scream, but less. By the time they’re juniors, you only have to scream at them every so often. Then, when they’re seniors, they’re the ones yelling at you. That’s the circle of life, baby.”
Cassius Winston performed an incredible, original poem he improvised after the Marquette game, professing his admiration for his coach. When I caught up with him ahead of the Reddit March Madness Elite Eight, he said that he and fellow senior forward Xavier Tillman had a surprise planned for Izzo if they made it to the Final Four, which would be their second trip there in a row.
“If we win, we’re gonna get a great, big pinata of Coach K, hang it up and surprise him with it in the locker room after the game,” Cassius Winston said. “We already have it all planned out for how to make it a secret. We have a few other guys on the team in on it. Kenny Goins provided the bat, because he had several for some reason. I can’t wait for the look on his face. And think of the candy, too!”
Winston skipped away from me, swinging his hips and singing about candy.
Michigan State will try to wrangle No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the West Regional Final in Phoenix tonight at 9:45 p.m. EST. Be sure to follow along with Nothing But Nylon’s comprehensively exclusive* coverage of the 2020 Reddit March Madness.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of each #RedditMarchMadness t-shirt will go toward helping those in the basketball community affected by COVID-19. We will be partnering with non-profits like the Give and Go Foundation on the effort. If you know of a worthy group that could use some extra funds, please reach out.