Before the coronavirus epidemic forced the NCAA to cancel both the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, Thursday marked what would have been the first day of the March Madness.
While this may be a tough pill to swallow for many college basketball fans, there is still an easy way to watch past tournaments.
The NCAA has uploaded a wealth of vintage games to its YouTube channel, where fans can relive the performances of former stars such as Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon (then known as “Akeem”), who faced off in the 1984 national championship.
Here’s a list of a few highlights from the channel:
- 1982 NCAA Tournament, featuring North Carolina vs. Georgetown
- 1983 NCAA Tournament, featuring N.C. State vs. Houston
- 1985 NCAA Tournament, featuring Villanova vs. Georgetown
- 1987 NCAA Tournament, featuring Indiana vs. Syracuse
- 1991 NCAA Tournament, featuring Duke vs. UNLV
- 1993 NCAA Tournament, featuring North Carolina vs. Michigan
- 2003 NCAA Tournament, featuring Syracuse vs. Kansas
Just a day after they announced they were moving on with the event without fans in attendance, the NCAA officially canceled the 2020 basketball tournament on March 12, citing concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Streeter Lecka/Getty March Madness
“This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement about the initial no-fans decision. “We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. ”
The announcement came as sports leagues around the country began suspending their seasons after NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
Will Newton/Getty Images Rudy Gobert
While the NBA’s 2019-2020 season is now in limbo, the league recently announced they are offering a free preview of their streaming platform, NBA League Pass, to allow fans to relive past games during their hiatus. The NFL announced a similar initiative on Wednesday with their NFL Game Pass platform.
As of Thursday afternoon, coronavirus continues to spread around the globe. It has so far sickened more than 221,000 people, and killed at least 9,200, according to a database from the New York Times.