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
Reddit March Madness Second Round – 7 Illinois 78, 2 Creighton 72
In a result that shocked one fan base and confirmed all the greatest fears of the other, Illinois knocked off Creighton, 78-72, in the second round of Reddit March Madness.
It is the first Sweet 16 for Illinois since 2005, and it could spark the return of a program that has pained its fans constantly for the last 15 years. Illinois head coach Bunderwood said that this was why he ditched Oklahoma State, whose last Sweet 16 was also in 2005, and came to Champaign.
“It’s never going to happen at Oklahoma State,” Bunderwood said. “Never again. They’re going to suck forever. I knew I could do this here, though, and so did $18 million dollars.”
The coach was misty-eyed when asked about proving himself to be the better rounded out of the two men commanding the sidelines.
“I said it after the Utah State game and I’ll say it again: I am the roundest man in America,” Bunderwood proclaimed. “And no one, especially not Greg McDermott, can take that away from me.”
Bunderwood was referring to Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, who has admitted to dealing with severe bouts of anxiety regarding his team’s complete inability to make the Sweet 16, even in a simulated video game tournament.
“I’m gonna lose my job, and then I’m gonna lose the house, too,” McDermott said, pacing ferociously and periodically hitting himself in the head with an open palm in feeble attempts to knock himself into an alternate, more successful reality that does not exist, not even in the make-believe land of College Hoops 2K8 simulations. “Theresa is definitely gonna leave me. What am I going to do without Theresa?”
He stopped, turned and faced the media, his face completely red and an expression of pure pain painted on it. His eyes locked on with mine, and we connected as I felt the agony of the love of your life leaving you and your life falling through your fingers.
“What am I going to do without Theresa?” Greg McDermott asked, still making eye contact and sincerely asking while knowing there was no answer I, nor anyone else in the room, could give him.
After the UC Irvine game, Creighton’s Denzel Mahoney warned that his teammates would need to step up moving forward because he “ain’t shooting like that again,” and he was right.
He scored 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, plus 8-of-10 from three, in the first round, but was much quieter against Illinois. In nine minutes of action, Mahoney notched nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and an 0-of-1 mark from deep.
As a team, Creighton shot 5-of-22, a credit to its incredible ability to choke in the tournament and the Illini defense.
“It was an important focus for us coming into the game,” said Ayo Dosunmu, who was named Player of the Game after a 21-point performance. “We knew that if we forced Creighton to do what they’re best at, there was no way they wouldn’t choke. It’s in their blood, and if that blood is synthetic and only exists in the two-dimensional world.”
Illinois will face off against the winner of No. 3 Kentucky and No. 6 Iowa (Thursday at 8 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.