Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Simulated March Madness Complete Bracket and Short Note on All 67 Games

The National Title Game Summary is now here if you want to skip ahead.

The March Madness 2020 simulations played using these 2020 Player Cards using the free and updated Value Add Basketball Game reached the Sweet 16. The letter and number before each team indicate the Region and Seed, so Dayton's E1 means they were the 1-seed in the East. Below this bracket finds each Region Bracket with scores and short summaries, and then longer game accounts under the EastSouthMidwest, and West Regional blogs. So far the Elite 8 features a 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 6- and 10-seed with the remaining two games featuring a 1- vs 4-seed. For more details and the player cards and score sheet on each game click this blog.

Final 4

Creighton 97, Indiana 94 in OT - Trayce Jackson-Davis (28 pts, 10 reb) and Indiana overpowered Crieghton inside for a 50-36 rebounding edge. After  Jackson-Davis drew a 5th foul on Damien Jefferson Indiana led 76-71 with 53 seconds left, but Denzil Maloney re-entered the game and hit a 3-pointer, Mitch Bullock hit another and with seconds left and still down 79-77 Marcus Zegarowski (22 pts) two free throws the send a thriller into overtime 79-79 and Creighton scored 18 in OT to win.

Duke 89, Iowa 64 - Duke continued their incredible average if 11 to 12 steals per tournament game with 11 more as guards Tre Jones (17 points, 2 steals), and Jordan Goldwire (14 points, 4 steals including two fast break 3s) dominated for a 2nd straight game.

Elite 8 Results

No more than one of the four 1-seeds has made the Final 4 in 6 of the last 9 years, and with the record number of No.1 teams losing during the season this one was ripe for more of the same ...

3-Duke 78, 1-Baylor 68. After doing just enough in their first three wins, Tre Jones (21 pts, 5 steals) and Duke dominated from the outset.

10-Indiana 81, 1-Dayton 74. Trayce Jackson-Davis (11,13, 3 blocks) helped the Hoosier team that in the real season beat 4 top 30 teams in their last 8 games and earlier in the year beat Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan State, become what would have been the third double digit seed in 5 years to make the Final 4.

2-Creighton 85, 1-Kansas 80. Zegarowski (21 points, 5 3-pts) and Alexander (21, 2) to build a 65-44 lead with 13:11 to play. Dotson led an incredible response, hitting his 4th 3-pointer for his 29th point to finish a 31-13 run to cut it to 78-75 with 1:52 to play then stealing and passing ahead to Braun for a potential game-tying shot, but it missed and the Jayhawks could get no closer.  Azubike's 18 points and 8 rebounds was hurt by him missing all 4 free throws to make it 0 for 11 in the final two games.

6-Iowa 74, Oregon 64 - The Big Ten's incredible dominance in the actual season translated into two of the Final 4 teams as their best player - Luka Garza - dominated Oregon for 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Sweet 16 results Winners to Elite 8:
  • Baylor 65, Kentucky 58. Despite the typically great defense, Baylor was dominated 38-29 on the boards by taller Kentucky and never led until MaCio Teague's 4-point play with 1:52 to play made it 58-54.
  • Creighton 86, Michigan 63. Zegarowski (24, 4 3-pts) and Alexander (29, 5 3-pts) led record-setting 12 3-pointers in 44 possession game (like 18 in full game). 
  • Dayton 79, Louisville 70. Crutcher (18, 3) hit a 3-pointer with 5:34 left to out Dayton up 66-60. Toppin (19,10) grabbed a  rebound few could have gotten away from the offense then was fouled at the other end and hit 2 free throws to make it 68-60. Toppin then hit 2 more free throws and then a rare 3-point shot to make it to cap the 16-4 run to make it 77-64 1:52 to play and overcome Nwora's 19 points.
  • Duke 82, Little Rock 72.  Jones steal and pass ahead to Jordan Goldwire for a 3 started a 19-7 run on 5 3-pointers to make it 77-71. 
  • Indiana 80, NC State 62. Jackson Davis led Indiana in points (18), rebounds (8), blocks (2) and drew 7 fouls including Hellem fouling out.
  • Iowa 68, Arizona St. 59. Weiskamp (26,8) took over despite ASU holding All-American Garza (9,9) in check.
  • Kansas 58, Wisconsin 52. Kansas was on a path for the best defensive effort in VABG history with a 53-31 lead with 4 minutes to play, with All-Americans Devon Dotson (16, 7 and 3 steals) and Usoka Azubuike (18, 12 and 4 blocks) dominating.
  • Oregon 72, USC 65. Duarte Duck's leading scorer and rebounder just like in actual win over USC during the season.

Nine of projected Sweet 16 teams (top 4 seeds) made our Sweet 16. This is fewer than the 14 of 16 top 4 seeds made it last year, but more than the 7 of 16 favorites that made the Sweet 16 in 2018. In other words there were more surprise Sweet 16 teams in 2018 than the 7 in our tournament.

East Region

2nd Round: 
  • Dayton - Set game scoring record in 95-68 win over Rutgers behind Naismith POY Toppin (14,10,5 blocks) and All-A10 Crutcher (22) and Landers (17).
  • Louisville - Nwora scores 25, Louisville holds off red hot shooting Yale 88-82.
  • Indiana - 6-11 center Brunk and 6-9 All-Big Ten Jackson-Davis (25,7) helped Indiana win rebounding battle 35-28 against North Kentucky trio that dominated boards to stun Villanova. The Hoosiers win 86-68.
  • NC State - Bryce beat the buzzer to win 75-73 after Hofstra's Coburn tied it with a 3 and Buie followed his 30 pts vs. Maryland with 17.
1st Round:

Louisville most dominant behind Value Add 1st Team All-ACC duo Nworka (21, 6) and Sutton (10,6) for 81-71 win; Daniel's 17 pts, 5 steals lead NC State 64-60 (they also won play-in); Buie's 30 pts lead Hofstra to 79-55 stunner (he scored 29 in double-digit win over UCLA in only Quad 1 actual game this year); Indiana's Value Add All-Big Ten Jackson-Davis (16 pts, 9 reb, 8 blocks) shuts down UVa; Yale's Atkinson (25, 9) towers over Butler; Value Add All-Horizon Walton (17 pts) leads Northern Kentucky in stunner; Yeboah (13 pts), late Johnson stick-back pull out Rutgers win; Toppin (32 pts, 10 reb, 4 blocks) perhaps best performance of 1st round to lead Dayton.
For summaries of each game click on East.

Midwest Region

2nd round:
  • Kansas - Region: Dotson (17 points, 3 steals) ,A (20 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks) and Kansas look like overall No.1 in 79-55 blowout of Colorado.
  • Creighton -  Zegarowski and Value Add 3rd team all-amer Alexander combine for 43 in 76-57 blow out of Oklahoma.
  • Michigan - Teske (23,7,7 blocks) and Big Ten continue to roll with 75-71 win over Seton Hall.
  • Wisconsin - Set game records for most 3-pointers made (10) and fewest turnovers (5) to rally past Ohio State 80-68
1st round:

Dotson 27 pts/ 6 steals lead Kansas; Wesson rallies Ohio State late; Center Manek's 25 pts/5 3-pts lead Oklahoma 75-59; Wisconsin's Reuvers (18 pts, 9 reb) clutch 3-pointer clinches 75-69 win; Joe Teske (17 pts, 7 reb, 6 stls, 7 blocks) rallies Michigan; McKnight avoids 5th foul, gets 3 late steals and Seton Hall pulls away; Value Add All-American Alexander leads Creighton; Bey's late stick back for 24th pt leads Colorado past Marquette's Howard in OT. Cincinnati and Boston U won play-ins. For summaries of each game click on Midwest.

South Region

2nd round:
  • Baylor - Gillespie (18, 22, 8 blocks) and Butler (33, 6 and 5 steals) led unbelievable Baylor to come back from 43-30 to win 100-94 in 2 OT over LSU.
  • Duke - Goldwater (5 steals) held SC MVP Tisdale to 10 pts, 3 reb for 75-68 over E.Tennessee State 75-68.
  • Kentucky - Backcourt of Quigley (22) and Hagans (20) outscored Auburn's McCormick (17) and Doughty (20, fouled out) for an 85-75 win.
  • Little Rock - brought back memories of the shockers at San Diego State, Tulsa and in March Madness over Purdue in 2016 when PG Nowell (19 pts, 6 stl) helped force 23 Houston turnovers for a 72-58 stunner.

1st round:

Kentucky and Baylor look most dominant. Kentucky dominant with Hagan's record 10 steals; ETSU thriller after tied at 51, 53, 57, 59 and 61 vs. WVU; Goldwire's consecutive steals and transition 3-pointers boost Duke; Little Rock twin towers shock Florida State; Baylor's Gillespie dominates boards and his four 6'3" and under teammates dominate; Williams 6 blocks and Smart's 6 3-pointers led LSU. Doughty (20,9) and Wiley (12,12,5 blocks) lead Auburn. Texas Tech All-American Hinton dunk beats buzzer to avoid OT and propel Houston 66-64. For summaries of each game click on South.

West Region

2nd round:
  • USC - Okongwu (23,9,5 blocks) leads USC 74-73 thriller over 1-Gonzaga, which in real play did lose it's only Quad 1 non-conference by 18.
  • Arizona State -PG Martin (27 points, 4 steals) blew West Region wide open with a second big upset, this one over San Diego State, 72-69.
  • Oregon - Pritchard scored 19 and piled up fouls on 3 BYU players guarding him as Oregon rallied 78-71.
  • Iowa - Epic big man battle, Garza (14,14,8 blocks) and Tillman (19,10) settled in final 1:30 with back-to-back 3-pts Weiskamp (20) & Frederick (13) and Garza reject Winston (18) for Iowa 77, MSU 72.

1st round - Michigan State 82-59 best 1st round performance in tourney with Winston-Tillman inside-out game; Iowa also dominant behind Garza (17 pts, 9 reb, 4 steals, 4 blocks) and now they meet; San Diego State's Flynn draws 6 fouls, scores 21 in win; Toolson's 21 leads BYU offensive explosion;  - favorites start 5-1. Game not reflected, Michigan State 82, Cal-Davis 59, 3 left. Value Add Pac-12 MVP Okongwu late stickbacks propel USC; Late rebounds by Petrusev, Kispert and Timme save Gonzaga. Pritchard 19 points, 5 steals lead Oregon past NM State 75-69. Arizona State's Martin scores 17 for win. Prairie View A&M won play-in. For summaries of each game click on West.

Note 1- We fixed one statistical issue that allowed players who stole the ball or grabbed an offensive rebound to score to easily - and the 1- and 2-seeds played below before that rule change giving the 15- and 16-seeds better chances at upsets before the fix. (The only result that likely was changed was Villanova's loss, but we will call it bad refereeing and letting an underdog stay too close).

Note 2 - Because the East's No. 1 seed Dayton was the 4th overall seed at BracketMatrix, the East Champion would play the Midwest Region due to Kansas being the overall No. 1 seed. The play in games are not included in the brackets (Robert Morris lost to Prairie View 70-68, NC Central lost to Boston U 80-63, Richmond lost to NC State 71-67 and Wichita State lost to Cincinnati 68-66. Note that in an actual tournament that last game and other conference match-ups (Arizona-Arizona State and LSU-Florida) would not be allowed, but we stuck with the BracketMatrix seeding and divided each four teams by logical regions rather than tweak seeds and regions.

Conference 2nd Round Teams, and Sweet 16 in Bold:

Big Ten (7 2nd round teams, 4 Sweet 16): Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Rutgers, Michigan State.

Pac12 (4, 3): USC, Colorado, Arizona State and Oregon.

Big 12 (3, 2): Baylor, Oklahoma and Kansas.

ACC (3, 3): Duke, NC State, and Louisville.

SEC (3, 1): Kentucky, LSU and Auburn.

Big East (2, 1): Seton Hall and Creighton.

WCC (2, 0): Gonzaga and BYU.

Other Conferences (8, 2): San Diego State,  Dayton, Little Rock, East Tennessee State, Yale, Northern Kentucky, Houston and Hofstra.

I did include below the 32 stacks in alphabetical order of 2nd round teams. If two teams had yet to play their first-round game then I stacked them together with the favored team on top and in that order.

Important rule update after 3/28/2020 Games. After the 15- and 16-seed teams played much better than expected overall and actually won 2 of 8 games, we the 100+ all-time great games played and ran some recalculations and determined the game had one statistical distortion and changed a rule to correct. Through games of 3/28 an offensive player getting a rebound could use the 20-sided die to shoot immediately. In reviewing past match-ups we reran numbers and realized this loophole took away the dunk range and defensive aspect of the game, letting big rebounders from lower divisions score more points than should have been allowed. Therefore games beginning on 3/29/2020 require that when a team gets an offensive rebound they roll all 4 dice again to run the office and see who gets the ball, and if it is stolen or turned over, etc. We did not change any results even though Villanova would have likely won their 1-point upset, though Florida State would have still been upsets stunned by Little Rock.

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