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Immanuel Quickley and Zan Payne Advance to Sweet 16 in UK’s NBA2K Tournament

Six Kentucky hoopers entered the inaugural NBA2K Tournament and after the first two rounds, we are down to just two Wildcats left as we enter the Sweet 16: Immanuel Quickley (immanuelquick3) and Zan Payne (ZanSecured).

Hosted by the University of Kentucky and Gen.G, the inaugural video game tournament began on Friday with a 64-player bracket. Men’s basketball player Dontaie Allen along with women’s players Chasity Patterson and Dre Edwards were knocked out before the Sweet 16, as was current New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox.

The bracket was split into four regions; future students, current students, alumni, and Big Blue Nation. Quickley, Payne, Allen, Patterson, and Edwards all fell in the “current students” region while Knox was in the “alumni” field. If Quickley and Payne both win their Sweet 16 matchup – which will be streamed live on UK’s Twitch account on April 13 – then they’ll face off in the Elite 8 with a chance to make it to the tournament semifinals.

The Final Four and Championship Game will be streamed on April 14. The remaining two days will both begin with coverage at 5 p.m. EST.

Payne was actually down by 20 points in his second-round game against UK sophomore Noah Banks, but managed to put together an unprecedented comeback on the shoulders of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Payne abused the Greek Freak all game, pouring in 57 of his team’s 61 overall points with the All-Star. 

“I went to Giannis the whole game,” Payne proudly exclaimed in the postgame press conference. “I just paint mashed Noah [Banks] the whole game. He really had me beat – I was down 20 and the reason why I came back was because he put LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis on the bench.”

Quickley went with the Golden State Warriors in his second-round matchup, facing the popular Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA ready prospect has dominated the virtual game, too

Dontaie Allen ended up losing in demoralizing fashion. With his team down three and time running low, Allen came up with a clutch steal that led to a shot for the tie, however, despite the shot going in, the player’s foot was on the line and Allen ended up losing by just one point, 50-49.

UK Hoops players, Patterson and Edwards, lost in their opening-round games while Knox was knocked out in round two. Here’s a look at the bracket as it currently stands.

The winner of this tournament should play Devin Booker for the “best at 2K” title. Are we all in agreement?

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR