MARCH MADNESS FLASHBACK: April 6, 2015 Was The Saddest Sports Moment Of My Life

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to take a little walk down March Madness memory lane.

With the cancelation of the games because of coronavirus, I’ve been recounting a few of the more interesting March Madness moments on here and among friends. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

Now, it’s time to take a look at the saddest sports moment of my life: the night of April 6, 2015. It is a night that will forever live in infamy, and it is a night that will break my heart every time I think about it.

Even five years later, there’s nothing that has rocked my world in the same fashion it got rocked on that fateful night when the refs stole a national title ring off my finger against Duke.

The Monday of April 6 started simple enough. It was the national title matchup between my beloved Wisconsin Badgers and the Duke Blue Devils.

After losing to the Blue Devils earlier in the year in Madison, it felt like the whole world was riding with us after knocking off a 38-0 Kentucky the Saturday night before in the Final Four.

We had earned the right to play 40 more minutes of college basketball to cap off the most magical season in Wisconsin history.

Instead, what unfolded was nothing short of a crime against humanity. During my day drinking bender, I had no idea what was waiting for me a few hours later.

The bars were absolutely packed in Madison. Lines to get in were hours long. I met up with my crew, and we started tossing them back as quickly as we could.

After all, tonight was the night we’d win a national title. No way were we going to raise a banner sober. Eventually, we made our way over to the bar for the game, and bucks and bucks of beer kept arriving to our spot in front of the projector.

There was nowhere on Earth I’d rather be. We were tossing back beers, Wisconsin was going punch for punch with Duke and then our hopes went through the roof as Wisconsin jumped out to a late lead.

Two things happened next that nobody saw coming. Grayson Allen caught fire. Now, we all know now Grayson Allen is a baller.

At the time he played in that title game, he was a mostly unknown freshman. He was the man nobody had planned for and he diced my guys up.

What happened in the closing moments was substantially worse than Allen’s unexpected heroics. With the game hanging in the balance, the officials gave the ball to Duke on blown call, which the NCAA later admitted was the incorrect decision.

When the clock hit zero, Wisconsin had lost 68-63 to Duke. My world had been shattered as I sat hammered drunk and in stunned silence.

Nobody knew what to do. Just minutes before it looked like victory was guaranteed, and then it was snatched away from us before we could blink.

I’m not an excuses kind of guy, and I think blaming the officials is cheap. Having said that, you know the refs screwed up big time when the NCAA has to admit they cost us a title.

That’s the part that kills me to this day. If we had lost fair and square or been blown out by 50, then I just would have moved on.

That’s not what happened. We did everything right, and it was taken away from us.

I’ll never forget what I said on the phone to my dad after the game. With a broken heart and a shattered world, I simply told him, “This might have been our only shot at a title while we’re both alive, and it was stolen from this entire f**king state.”

I wasn’t angry and I wasn’t upset. I was just shattered. Sports can be a funny thing. They bring you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

On April 6,  2015, I experience the lowest night of my life in the world of sports. So, there you have it, folks. Five years later and I’m still hanging onto that dark night.

Let me know in the comments the worst sports moment of your life! You will forever know mine, and I’m confident it’ll never be worse than being robbed of a ring.