With no March Madness, can I interest you in a bit of April Absurdity? The NCAA basketball tournament is canceled and the NBA season is on hold, but hoop fans can fill the roundball void with a virtual NBA 2K20 tournament. And not just any NBA 2K tournament you might find on Twitch. For one thing, 16 current NBA players, including former MVP and recovering coronavirus patient Kevin Durant, signed on to play. For another, it's broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2.
Read more: Phoenix Suns continue season on NBA 2K20
The tournament wraps up tonight, Saturday April 11, at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) with two semifinal games and a final. That's right: unlike a real-life tournament you won't have to wait a day or two for the championship game. It will be played between the two winners of the semifinals immediately afterward.
Each player has a pool of eight NBA teams from which to choose, but they can use each team only once during the tournament. The games are pre-taped and take about an hour each.
NBA 2K Players Tournament matchups and results
Following the standard March Madness script, the NBA 2K Players Tourney had its share of first-round upsets. Top seed Kevin Durant got bounced by No. 16 seed Derrick Jones Jr. while No. 14 seed Patrick Beverley upset No. 3 seed Hassan Whiteside and No. 13 seed Rui Hachimura knocked out No. 4 seed Donovan Mitchell.
In other early action, Trae Young (2) coasted by Harrison Barnes (15), Devin Booker (5) topped Michael Porter Jr. (12) and Andre Drummond (6) destroyed DeMarcus Cousins by 52 points. Montrezl Harrell (8) beat Domantas Sabonis (9) and Deandre Ayton (10) beat Zach LaVine (7).
Thursday's quarterfinal matchups saw top remaining seed Young fall to Ayton in a big upset while Beverly's Sixers upset Andre Drummond's Bucks. The highest seed to advance was Devin Booker, who will play Harrell tonight. Here's the final four for the semifinals.
Players were seeded based on their NBA 2K20 rankings. (Ties in rankings were broken by NBA tenure.)
In addition to bragging rights, the winner of the tournament will receive $100,000 from the NBA, NBA2K and the National Basketball Players Association to give to a charity of his choice to support coronavirus relief efforts.
How to watch the NBA 2K Players Tournament
You don't need cable or satellite TV to watch the tournament on ESPN and ESPN2. Both channels are offered on four of the five major live TV streaming services.
Sling TV's $30-a-month Orange package includes ESPN and ESPN2. Sling TV's plans are currently discounted by $10 for the first month. Read our Sling TV review.
YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes ESPN and ESPN2. Read our YouTube TV review.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes ESPN and ESPN2. Read our Hulu with Live TV review.
AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now's basic $65-a-month Plus package includes ESPN and ESPN2. Read our AT&T TV Now review.
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