Illinois Holds Off Utah State with Late Shots
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 First Round – 7 Illinois 69, 10 Utah State 63
After falling apart late in the second half and allowing a double-digit lead to evaporate before its eyes, Illinois sank two huge threes in the game’s final minute to pull away from Utah State, 69-63.
Trent Frazier hit the first after receiving a pass from Ayo Dosunmu on the wing. The guard saw some space between him and his defender and felt confident, breaking the tie and giving the Illini a three-point advantage.
“As you can see, I’m wearing one of my energy crystals, which have helped bring me incredible good fortune in recent months,” Frazier explained. “This one right here is for love, which is what I try to spread with my basketball game. That’s the secret to everything, man, it’s love. There can be nothing without love.”
Second half collapses have been a bit of a theme for Illinois this season, sometimes still resulting in wins but often concluding in losses. For Illini head coach and evil twin of Frosty the Snowman Bunderwood, it’s something he has been trying to beat into his team.
“I don’t understand,” Bunderwood admitted to reporters following his team’s first round victory. “I thought that after I ate Samson Oladimeji, maybe they would get the message. I cooked him alive and devoured his flesh right in front of everyone, and still no response. I think it might have to be Tyler next.”
For Utah State, the loss ends the momentum it built carrying all the way to the Mountain West Tournament title and a victory over almost-undefeated San Diego State in the final. Aggies head coach and Lex Luther’s fraternal twin Craig Smith appreciated his team’s effort in the second half, but wasn’t amused with the end result.
“People are getting poisoned for this,” Smith said after getting off the phone with his brother. “They’re gonna be innocent, too. You fucked up, Alphonso.”
The Alphonso he is referring to is Alphonso Anderson, his junior forward who decided to take 12 shots and eight triples despite 1.9 three-point attempts per contest during the regular season. He went 1-of-8 from deep.
“I love you mom, I love you dad,” Anderson said at the post-game press conference, visibly shaken. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS!”
Bunderwood’s boys will battle No. 2 seed Creighton in the second round of Reddit March Madness, pitting two similarly-shaped coaches against one another.
“I think when push comes to shove, we’re going to see just who the rounder human is come whenever the second round of this thing happens,” Bunderwood said.
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.