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One of the most exciting stretches of sports is March Madness when days are full of back to back college basketball games.

Unfortunately this year, like many other events, the tournament was canceled as cases of the deadly and highly contagious coronavirus began to take over the United States. For some players who plan to go to the league or are graduating seniors, they missed out on the action-packed series– but now someone is trying to restore the feeling.

Former Louisville big man Akoy Agau knows how much the tourney means and decided to host a virtual one with the help of video games.

“When I was at Louisville and Georgetown, a bunch of guys played video games. What if we had a way to play the NCAA tournament?” Agau told ABC. “Get someone from each of those universities, get guys to play out the tournament.”

After finishing up at Louisville, the now 25-year-old and ex-Louisville manager Matthew Melander launched Primetimesports, a company that allows fans to interact with athletes and celebrities while streaming video games.

When athletes or celebrities stream video games on Twitch, fans pay a small fee if they’d like to ask a question or interact with them. From that money, the athlete or celebrity splits the money down the middle with Primetimesports. Then,  Primetimesports gives a percentage to several charities.

Melander and Agua then decided to take on the arduous task of getting in contact with a senior or a player who has entered the draft from each of the 68 teams in basketball analyst Joe Lunardi’s final projected bracket. Then, they had to recreate all the lineups down to names and hometowns on both Xbox and Playstation to make the virtual competition as close to the real thing as possible.

“It was a pretty long process to be able to get everything in line,” Melander said. “But it might be worth it for the players. I know they didn’t get March Madness this year, but to experience it through a video game, with the right courts, the right teammates, things like that.”

They ended up getting about 40 of 68 needed players to pick up the sticks and upped the stakes with the winner getting $2,000 and the new PlayStation 5.

Now that all the planning is done, its time to see who the best virtual baller is. The competition begins Wednesday, with three games per night being streamed on Twitch starting at 6:15, 7:30, and 8:30 ET.

July Madness: Former Louisville Player Creates Virtual NCAA Tournament  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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