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 – 3 Kentucky 97, 6 Iowa 88
With 15:55 to go in the second half, Kentucky found itself down 12 to Iowa, 56-44.
A little more than seven minutes later, an acrobatic, and-one alley-oop from Immanuel Quickley tied the game at 66-66, officially erasing Iowa’s lead, much to the Hawkeyes’s disbelief.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Iowa center Luka Garza, who was posterized on the play. “I didn’t know that was physically possible. He didn’t even drop step but still scored. I’m so confused.”
From there, the Wildcats took control, asserting their will and pulling away to win, 97-88, to advance to the Reddit March Madness Sweet 16.
Kentucky will make its fourth-straight appearance in the Sweet 16 and is one win away from back-to-back Elite Eight runs. Head coach and old-timey mob boss John Calipari deferred to his consigliere to answer questions at the post-game press conference, sitting powerfully next to the podium in a three-piece suit with perfectly greased hair, whispering his answers to reporters’ questions in his right-hand man’s ear.
“It was a proud night for the Big Blue Family,” Calipari said through William Wesley. “Our boys are the toughest, meanest, most ruthless on the street, and they proved it tonight. As a result, we are beginning operation in Indianapolis next week.
“There will be no more questions.”
Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans was the Player of the Game, according to computers whose formulas are too advanced for puny human comprehension, with a ridiculous double-double on 21 points and 14 assists. He was also a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe.
“I would like to dedicate this performance to the otters,” Hagans said. “No one in basketball is talking about otters. I’m sick of it. It’s time to start, #OtterTalk.”
Iowa head coach and boiling tea kettle Fran McCaffery was steaming after the loss, the third-straight second-round defeat for his Hawkeyes dating back to 2015.
“My chakras are all wrong right now,” he admitted in the presser, embarrassingly. “I got some of them going right, some going left. I mean, I can’t keep track of them at all. It really hurt us tonight.”
Iowa point guard Bakari Evelyn had himself quite a night, hitting big shot after big shot down the stretch to keep his Hawkeyes in the game. His 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field was much better than his 3.7 points per game average from the regular season, and Evelyn’s 4-of-5 mark from beyond the arc well surpassed his 29.9 percent clip from deep in 2019-20.
But it wasn’t enough to send Iowa to its first Sweet 16 since 1999, though.
“It was the weirdest thing,” Evelyn said after the game. “My brain told my body what to do, and the ball actually went in. I guess it wasn’t that weird, though. We still lost.”
Kentucky will take on No. 7 seed Illinois in the Sweet 16. 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.