Desperate for mid-major college basketball to watch? Why not try some virtual mid-major college basketball?!
Although there have been many articles written in the last few years about the end of EA’s extremely fun NCAA Football franchise, the media has mostly been silent about the NCAA Basketball series. NCAA Basketball died due to litigation long before NCAA Football did—the last NCAA Basketball installment came out in 2009, while NCAA Football made it to 2013. However, though the EA NCAA Basketball games were never quite as fun as the college football installments, they were still pretty good video games that came out every year from the 1997-98 season onward.
Look at this great mid-major content!
Just like how NCAA Football was most fun when you inexplicably led Hawaii or Wyoming to the national title, NCAA Basketball was at its best when you did wonky stuff with mid-major teams. EA loses some points for omitting some mid-majors over the years, but by NCAA Basketball 10, they got to a solid 325 Division I teams. With ‘10 being the last true release, there is a small industry on YouTube or Twitch of people that love streaming themselves winning games with teams like William & Mary, Hofstra, and Boston University.
As the site’s resident Never Made the Tournament Club aficionado, the “Dynasty Mode Let’s Play” nearest to my heart is definitely to Wippy’s epic, 19-episode takeover of the William & Mary Tribe. This would be the stuff of MMM legend...if it were real. Still, please enjoy this video of William & Mary knocking off No. 20 Maryland on a buzzer beater in some classic BRUTALITY.
This video series is the best of them, in my opinion. The Tribe go through a very realistic journey, losing plenty of non-conference games and burying themselves in a sea of CAA teams. You’ll have to watch the full series to see if William & Mary finally escape the NMTC.
The other astounding mid-major epic of the NCAA Basketball 10 Let’s Plays goes to Minimum Wage Gaming’s ridiculous, 10-season odyssey through Northern Iowa basketball. This one is truly ridiculous, as we get over 30 hours of Northern Iowa content.
By the end, MWG gets quite bored with the game, for obvious reasons. A lot of the game involves him simming through and completely biffing the recruiting aspect. The Panthers also pull a Butler and lose the national title game in back-to-back years (the second time a 98-44 loss to No. 1 North Carolina State). Imagine the scenes in this blog if the Panthers make it to the National Championship game twice and lose both times.
He does start to get ridiculous recruiting classes at Northern Iowa, and I like to think the series abruptly ended because of an FBI investigation in 2019-20. Don’t you want to see how the picture below even happens:
I also really like PerramCrowe’s dynasty run with UMKC, just for the absurdity of playing through a full season of Summit League basketball (this was before they joined the WAC). PerramCrowe picks them because he’s Australian and UMKC are the Kangaroos, and it’s quite entertaining.
The most popular dynasty mode run on YouTube is BigOleDrewski’s UMBC campaign, obviously inspired by that time when Virginia lost to a No. 16 seed. Did you know that happened? The series is also great.
And then there’s McGruffxGaming’s ongoing Texas Southern Dynasty, which is exactly as entertaining as it sounds.
Watching someone build a SWAC powerhouse at Texas Southern sounds like a great waste of an afternoon.
Lastly, I must highlight PureStrokeGaming’s valiant attempt to become Ron Hunter at Georgia State.
With all these videos, you have well over 100 hours of virtual mid-major basketball on YouTube to last you through the rest of the fall. Enjoy!