Atlanta Final Four Never Had a Chance Against the Pandemic

Dan Raley

In a healthier world, the Final Four would be playing out right now in Atlanta.

We'd have Kansas, Dayton, Gonzaga and maybe Florida State going at it.

Yet rather than look to that Southern metropolis as the amiable host for college basketball's 2020 men's championship, it's remains on call for the country's pandemic needs as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a world crisis compounded by no sports to soften the blow, we've been left without a Final Four or college basketball tournament ending for the first time since 1939, when the NCAA event was created.

To get through this empty weekend, Sports Illustrated's senior writer Pat Forde, who has covered every one of these events since 1991, offers a reflective look at the games that truly got our attention.

Forde goes back to 1940 to highlight the most memorable match-ups. No, he's been around a long time but he didn't cover that one.

The lure of college basketball are the upsets, the underdogs rising up to spill some blue blood school with the nation watching.

Remember Texas Western and Kentucky in the finals in 1966? Forde categorizes the importance of this basketball finale and what it meant to all of college basketball.

Do you know the name of David Thompson?

Few people, very few, have been given the physical gifts that he put on display in his NCAA outings against some of the best college teams put together.

But we'll let Forde explain it. 

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