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Jay Wright gave his team a rousy speech late in the game when it was close. Then, West Virginia went on a run and the Wildcats lost, 97-89.

Jay Wright Gives Inspirational Speech as West Virginia Washes Villanova

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 Sweet 16 – 6 West Virginia 97, 2 Villanova 86

Down 86-85 with 2:13 to play in the game, Villanova head coach Jay Wright gathered his team together and presented a rousing motivational speech that had them chomping at the bit to get back on the floor and mangle some Mountaineers.

“Basketball is my favorite sport,” Jay Wright hollered, demonstrably waving his arms around, exuding energy. “I like the way they dribble up and down the court. Just like I’m the king on the microphone, so is Dr. J and Moses Malone. My favorite play is the alley-oop. I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go, ’cause it’s basketball, uh, Mister Kurtis Blow.”

Villanova lost, 97-86.

Instead, it’s West Virginia that is on to the Elite Eight, and it’s the first time it has been this close to the Final Four since getting there in 2010.

“I don’t understand,” Jay Wright said in the post-game press conference, flabbergasted. “It worked for the championships…”

He sat in silence for a few minutes, pondering whether or not the game had passed him by. He came to a silent conclusion in his head, collected himself and walked out of the room graciously.

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West Virginia gave Villanova a taste of its own Sweet 16 medicine. GIF courtesy of /u/typicalbaseballfan.

These programs are very familiar with one another, having shared the Big East for so long. Before tonight, the teams had met 43 times, with Villanova holding a 23-20 series lead, though the last game played between the two since 2011 was in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Jay Wright and the Wildcats won that Sweet 16 matchup, 90-78, en route to a national championship.

It felt good to be on the other end this time for West Virginia senior Jermaine Haley.

“This one’s for you, Jevon!” he wailed after to the game, collapsing to his knees in elation.

One of the biggest plays of the night that secured the team’s spot in the Midwest Regional Final was a huge block via West Virginia sophomore Derek Culver on a three-point attempt from Villanova guard Collin Gillespie with 47.3 seconds to go. At that point, West Virginia was only up 90-87, and that shot could have tied the game in its final minute.

“This is why you spend long nights in the gym stretching and pulling at your arms to slowly lengthen them,” Culver explained after the game, of course referring to West Virginia’s infamous “Torture Rack” strength and conditioning program. “It’s unbelievably painful at the time, borderline inhumane. But all that hard work pays off in games.”

It has been a tumultuous ride this postseason for West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins, who has already had to apologize for the vicious mauling and murder of referee Horatio Franklin at halftime of his team’s first round game against UCLA on March 22 and got into a bit of a spat with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, his opponent in the Sweet 16.

But this win helps heal some of those wounds and give the personified version of a grizzly bear some ammunition for his haters.

“Suck my ass,” Huggins said, pulling down his pants and mooning the media, then sitting down to finish the press conference, but not before pulling out a cigar, lighting it a few times and taking a nice puff, blowing the smoke out casually in front of him as he leaned forward in his chair. “Now, any questions?”

No one dared speak. Huggins left without saying another word, lumbering through the conference room, cigar in hand, smoking and grunting all the way out.

West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe was the coach’s best player, earning Player of the Game honors from the geniuses at College Hoops 2K8 after a 23-point, 8-rebound performance, plus six steals to top it off. He was efficient, too, shooting 7-of-10 from the field and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.

“This is what I came to West Virginia to do:” Tshiebwe said, “whoop on some coastal elites.”

West Virginia will play the winner of No. 5 seed Butler and No. 8 seed LSU (Friday at 10 p.m. EST) in the Elite Eight. That game will be Monday at 8:15 p.m. in Detroit.

Be sure to follow along with Nothing But Nylon’s comprehensively exclusive* coverage of the 2020 Reddit March Madness.

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