March Madness, NCAA Tournament (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
March Madness would’ve tipped off on Thursday, March 19 had it not been canceled. But if they played the 2020 NCAA Tournament, how would it have played out?
It was unfortunate enough when the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak well over a week prior to what would’ve been Selection Sunday. But now, those still missing the March Madness that is always phenomenal will feel the pain even more as the First Four games would’ve already been played and the Round of 64 would tip-off on Thursday, March 19.
As great as the entirety of March Madness is when it’s played, there’s nothing quite like the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament. From the shocking First Round (and Second Round) upsets that get people talking about Cinderella’s to four straight days of nothing but the best college basketball teams in the country taking the floor, there’s nothing remotely close to it.
So while there will be no tourney to decide the champion of the 2019-20 college basketball season, that doesn’t mean we can’t predict what would happen if the 2020 NCAA Tournament had been played and crown our own National Champion.
From the First Four to the Final Four to which team would’ve cut down the nets in Atlanta, this is how March Madness would’ve played out according to the Mythical March Madness bracket comprised of ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s final bracketology projections.
First Four: 11 NC State vs. 11 UCLA
It never fully came together for the NC State Wolfpack consistently this season but they have experience and talent. Mick Cronin’s first tournament with the Bruins ultimately ends in heartbreak as the Wolfpack keep them from the Round of 64. Winner: NC State
First Four: 12 Texas vs. 12 Richmond
Shaka Smart’s Longhorns have been one of the most hot-and-cold teams in recent memory for college basketball, especially as a tournament team. While they could get hot in March Madness, the Spiders have too much for them with Nick Sherod and Blake Francis. Winner: Richmond
First Four: 16 Boston University vs. 16 Robert Morris
Max Mahoney and Walter Whyte don’t break bad for the Boston University Terriers in this matchup from Dayton. Their experience and prowess on the glass are simply more than the Colonials would be able to handle. Winner: Boston University
First Four: 16 Prairie View A&M vs. 16 NC Central
While Jibri Blount was fantastic this season for NC Central, the size of Devonte Patterson and Prairie View A&M proves to be the deciding factor as the Panthers earn a date with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Winner: Prairie View A&M
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