College Basketball Fans On Reddit Are Streaming A Virtual NCAA Tournament On 'College Hoops 2K8'

This is March. Sort of.

97.1 The Ticket
March 19, 2020 - 7:09 pm
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(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

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97.1 The Ticket -- Thursday was supposed to be one of the best days of the year on the sports calendar. The official start of March Madness -- the first full day of NCAA Tournament games.

But we know all too well the madness was turned to sadness as the NCAA canceled the 2020 men's and women's tournaments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It was eerily quiet Thursday at noon. No Greg Gumbel sending us off to our first game of the day. No channel flipping between CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. No madness, just sadness.

But some college basketball fans teamed up on Reddit to do their part in filling the void. They took Bracketville's final bracketology projection of the year and set up a full-blown tournament and schedule using 2K Sports' "NCAA College Hoops 2K8."

Games are streaming live on YouTube throughout the weekend. No, it's not the same, but it's a brilliant idea.

Games on 2K8 certainly aren't as appealing as the graphics on NBA 2K20 -- which does allow for full customization of teams and rosters -- but the creators of this virtual tournament wanted to be able to start games in time for the traditional Thursday-at-noon tip-off, so they rolled with 2K8.

It certainly gives us a nostalgiac feel as we're all cooped up and missing college basketball. The rosters aren't perfect -- Joey Hauser and Joshua Langford are playing for Michigan State -- and the announcers, Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery (!!), will say some players' last names, but we get that cheesy "number 12 passes to number 25" call most of the time. But that's part of the beauty of it. For gamers, at least.

Plus, some games are being played at the team's arenas closest to the actual tournament locations, so we have school logos at mid-court, giving us that late-1990s, early-2000s look. 

Fans are live-tweeting the games and using #RedditMarchMadness.

And yes, there have been a few classic March thrillers. Because "This. Is. March." -- sort of.

Texas Tech's Davide Moretti hit a buzzer beater in the First Four to beat NC State on Wednesday night, and on Thursday afternoon, 13-seed Vermont took down Louisville on Ernie Duncan's 3-pointer at the horn.

Michigan State wound up with a 3-seed and got out to a big 44-27 halftime lead against Little Rock Thursday night. Michigan, meanwhile, slid to a 7-seed and is scheduled to take on Florida Saturday at 1 p.m.

If you want to get in on the #RedditMarchMadness, you can go to the /r/College Basketball YouTube page to watch games, or visit the website to see the full bracket and schedule.