As we are all unfortunately aware, the 2020 NCAA Tournament is not happening.
In an attempt to quell the spread of the coronavirus, the NCAA has chosen to cancel ongoing and upcoming events, and rightfully so. As terrible as it is for seniors and teams alike to have their seasons end so abruptly through no fault of their own, it is the sacrifice necessary for the safety of us all.
Fortunately, a team of people over at the college basketball subreddit, /r/CollegeBasketball, have put together a virtual men/s tournament to simulate the 2020 iteration of the Big Dance. Formulating its own bracket, the subreddit is using College Hoops 2K8 to create an AI-decided champion for this year. Games are being aired live on its YouTube channel, including the First Four, which tipped off yesterday night. The community will even offer game threads while the games are being streamed.
This is a great service to the basketball community at large and will help a lot of people during this immensely difficult time. Thank you to those who are responsible for its creation and development. You are making a difference.
The idea has me so excited that I have volunteered myself as the event’s media coverage beginning with the first round. I will be providing “gamers” for each game, including “quotes” from coaches and players on the contests at hand. I am the Fourth Estate, and I take my responsibility of reporting on fictional games that are posted online forever with made up quotes very seriously. You can expect there to be nothing goofy or entertaining in these articles about video game matchups formulated for entertainment purposes only. This will be very serious business, just as /r/CollegeBasketball is.
Please, college basketball world, join me in celebrating the version of March Madness we are unfortunately stuck with in 2020, and thank those who are dedicating their time and hard work to make this possible. This is what cooperation for the greater good looks like.
The first two games of the First Four were streamed last night, and I won’t reveal results as to not spoil anything. The final two games of the First Four are scheduled to be streamed live tonight at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST.