"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Simulation Sunday

Today was supposed to be Selection Sunday. For those of us that put brackets together, this is the day we look forward to all season long, to see how we did, what we got right, what we got wrong, and most important, where our team is going. Since we don't get the Selection Show, I'm going to do my Simulation Show here. I'll go region by region with the full S-Curve down at the bottom. Let's dive in:

We begin in the Midwest with the #1 overall seed, the Kansas Jayhawks, who are headed to Omaha. They will take on the winner of the First Four game in Dayton between 16-seeds UNC Central and Robert Morris. Also in Omaha it's the 8-seed Arizona Wildcats taking on the 9-seed Rutgers Scarlet Knights, making their first tournament since 1991. Moving down to St. Louis, the 5-seed BYU Cougars take on Anthony Lamb and 12th seeded Vermont, representing the America East. Also in St. Louis, the 4th seeded Louisville Cardinals out of the ACC will meet the 13-seed Liberty Flames, who earned their first ever NCAA win a year ago.

The bottom half of the bracket begins in Cleveland, where 6-seed West Virginia opens their NCAA campaign against our first representative from the Atlantic 10, the 11-seed Richmond Spiders. The winner of that game will face the winner of the game between Tom Izzo's 3-seed Michigan State Spartans and the 14-seed Eastern Washington Eagles out of the Big Sky. In St. Louis, the 7th seeded Houston Cougars will take on Mike White and the 10th seeded Florida Gators. We also have our first representative from the Big East as the 2-seed Creighton Blue Jays face off with Summit League champion and 15-seed North Dakota State Bison.

Staying on the right side of the bracket, the top seed will be the Baylor Bears, who head to Omaha to take on the 16-seed Northern Kentucky Norse. The winner there will meet the winner of 8-seed St. Mary's Gaels and your 9-seed Marquette Golden Eagles. In Greensboro, the 5-seed Ohio State Buckeyes open up against a popular giant-killer, the 12-seed Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks. Also in Greensboro, it's John Calipari and his 4th seeded Kentucky Wildcats facing off with Brian Wardle's 13-seed Bradley Braves, returning to the tournament for a second straight year.

In the bottom half of the south, we start with the 6-seed Colorado Buffalos, who will meet up with the 11-seed Indiana Hoosiers in Albany. Staying in Albany, Big East Player of the Year Myles Powell, who undeservingly looted the award for the 3-seed Seton Hall Pirates will meet up with the 14-seed Hofstra Pride and Eli Pemberton. In Tampa, it's National Player of the Year contender Luka Garza and the 7-seed Iowa Hawkeyes facing off with Bobby Hurley's 10th seeded Arizona State Wildcats. We wrap up the South also in Tampa, as the 2-seed ACC-but-not-yet-national-champions Florida State Seminoles will meet the 15-seed Little Rock Trojans who won the Sun Belt.

Let's head to the East, where we begin in Cleveland. National Player of the Year candidate Obadiah Toppin leads the #1-seed Dayton Flyers in their opening game against first-year coach Carm Marciarello and the 16-seed Siena Saints. Also in Cleveland, the 8th seeded LSU Tigers will face off with the 9th seeded Oklahoma Sooners. Moving to Tampa, it's Kamar Baldwin and the 5-seed Butler Bulldogs facing off against the 12-seed Utah State Aggies, champions of the Mountain West. Staying in Tampa, the Maryland Terrapins are the 4-seed and hoping to make their first Final Four since 2001 as they open play against the 13-seed New Mexico State Aggies, led by coach Chris Jans.

The bottom of the bracket opens in Greensboro, where the 6-seed Michigan Wolverines will take on the winner of the First Four game from Dayton between the 11th seeded Northern Iowa Panthers, who may surprise some with their inclusion, and the Cincinnati Bearcats, returning to the tournament in Coach John Brannen's first year there. Also in Greensboro, it's Coach K and the 3-seed Duke Blue Devils squaring off with another first-year coach, Casey Alexander and his 14th seeded Belmont Bruins. Moving to Albany, Pat Chambers and the 7-seed Penn State Nittany Lions both return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, but also the first time together. They take on Steve Forbes and the East Tennessee State Buccaners, champions of the Southern Conference. The winner of that game will square off with the winner of another game in Albany as the 2-seed Villanova Wildcats take on the 15-seed UC Irvine Anteaters.

The last region, and last hope for teams on the bubble, will come in the West. We begin with Mark Few and his top seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs, who head to Spokane to meet the First Four 16-seed winner as the Prairie View A&M Panthers will meet the Boston University Terriers. The winner of that game will face off with two teams that know each other well, as this will be the third time in five years that Ed Cooley and his 8-seed Providence Friars will open NCAA play against the USC Trojans, who are the 9-seed. In Sacramento, the Auburn Tigers will try to reach a second straight Final Four as a 5-seed; they begin play against the 12-seed Yale Bulldogs. Also in Sacramento, the 4-seed Wisconsin Badgers will take on the 13-seed Akron Zips out of the MAC.

Back to Spokane, the defending champions and 6-seed Virginia Cavaliers will open play with the winners of the 11-seed First Four game between the Xavier Musketeers and the 2019 runners-up, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. This pod also includes the 3-seed Oregon Ducks, who face off against the 14-seed North Texas Mean Green from Conference-USA. Our last pod will be in Sacramento, where the 7-seed Illinois Fightin' Illini will meet the 10-seed Wichita State Shockers. And the last game we have is the 2-seed San Diego State Aztecs, who were the last undefeated team in the nation this year, meeting the 15-seed Winthrop Eagles.

Here is the full 2020 NCAA bracket:

Comments from Selection Committee Chair: "This was a year where the 1-seeds were all clear. There was complete agreement on both those teams and the regions they went to. The closest team to the top line was San Diego State, who could've got there had they won their conference tournament, but were clearly off the top line after that loss.

"There was quite a bit of discussion about the bubble. The last two teams in were Northern Iowa and Cincinnati. Both of those teams had some tough losses, but their winning records against teams in the top two quadrants and generally stronger computer numbers were what propelled them into the field over the teams that will headline the NIT."

Here is the complete seed list, as well as the top two seed lines for the NIT:

1-Seeds: 1-KANSAS 2-GONZAGA 3-Baylor 4-DAYTON
2-Seeds: 8-Villanova 7-FLORIDA STATE 6-CREIGHTON 5-San Diego State
3-Seeds: 9-Duke 10-Michigan State 11-OREGON 12-Seton Hall
4-Seeds: 16-WISCONSIN 15-Maryland 14-Louisville 13-KENTUCKY
5-Seeds: 17-Butler 18-Ohio State 19-Auburn 20-Byu
6-Seeds: 24-Colorado 23-Virginia 22-Michigan 21-West Virginia
7-Seeds: 25-HOUSTON 26-Penn State 27-Iowa 28-Illinois
8-Seeds: 32-Arizona 31-St. Mary's 30-Providence 29-Lsu
9-Seeds: 33-Marquette 34-Rutgers 35-Usc 36-Oklahoma
10-Seeds: 40-EAST TENNESSEE STATE 39-Wichita State 38-Arizona State 37-Florida
11-Seeds: 41-Richmond 42-Indiana 43-Xavier/44-Texas Tech 45-Northern Iowa/46-Cincinnati

NIT 1-Seeds: NC State, UCLA, Texas, Stanford
NIT 2-Seeds: Arkansas, St. Louis, Mississippi State, Rhode Island

Last Four Byes: Arizona State, Wichita State, Richmond, Indiana
Last Four In: Xavier, Texas Tech, Northern Iowa, Cincinnati

Multibid Leagues
Big 10: 10
Big East: 7
Pac 12: 5
Big 12: 5
ACC: 4
SEC: 4
WCC: 3
American: 3
Atlantic 10: 2
Missouri Valley: 2
Mountain West: 2

1 comment:

JohnPudner said...

A late "great stuff" kudos. I thought of using your bracket for playing out my value add dice game tournament - but did go with the bracket matrix to use a consensus bracket. NC State 71, Richmond 67 in the first playing game.