March Madness withdrawal hits close to home

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 3:35 PM EDT
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March Madness 2020 feels a lot more like March Sadness.

On what would have been the first day of the tournament, and with no brackets to fill out or bragging rights on the line, fans are left wondering what would have been.

“This is the time of year when all I can hear in my head is the NCAA theme music,” says former WKYT Sports Director Dick Gabriel.

He prescribes an old adage in these uncertain times: Make the best of the hand you’ve been dealt. For him, Thursday marks a first in his career – waking up in March with no games to cover.

"We've never dealt with this before. This is unprecedented, and I'm a little on the older side, and it's certainly never happened in my lifetime," says Gabriel.

That’s especially true for Big Blue Nation. Basketball isn't a sport, it's a culture, an identity, the one thing that can unify people from all walks of life.

"Probably more than any other state because of the Wildcats and the Sweet 16, both boys and girls where everybody has a shot to win. It's just unique and for that to dissolve into nothing, it's painful," says Gabriel.

As far as shining moments, 2020 will be the year where everyone's dream of winning it all will remain just that – a dream.

“We've got John Calipari, like every other coach, saying we would've won, jokes Gabriel. “And he has the right to say that because this year, who knows?"

"Years from now we'll look back and we'll smile at what could have been."