If you want to review the results of the March Madness 2020 Simulated Tournament in chronological order, you can start by going to this blog to see 1st and 2nd round results, then go to the bottom of this blog and work your way up through Sweet 16 games at the bottom. We continue to post the most recent games at the top of this blog.
For background, the simulated all-time March Madness concluded the first week of March with Bill Walton's UCLA defeating Michael Jordan's UNC (see complete 96-team bracket). After writing this story from Madison Square Garden hours after the NBA season was canceled by COVID-19, focus turned from watching Big East games to calculating player cards for the 100 teams projected to make the NIT or NCAA.
By printing out these 2020 cards (click for which 3 pages to print for which teams), you can play any game you want using this free Value Add Basketball Game. We played them off and gave game summaries on this blog, and continue below with the Sweet 16 games through the National Championship. This is how it might have been, and this will be as close as we get to recognize all the great players and potential surprise teams and players from the March Madness that never happened unless the NCAA takes up an idea to play August Madness.
The bracket starting with the Sweet 16 is below - with original seeds noted by each team.
Final 4Creighton 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.
Ballock's 3-pointer to make it 95-88 Creighton in overtime was the Blue Jays game record 13th 3-pointer (breaking their own record of 12), and when the Hoosiers cut it to 95-92 for a chance to tie late in OT, Blalock grabbed the rebound after after being intentionally fouled hit both free throws to ice it and send Creighton to the title game against Duke.
The early odds for 2021 give Creighton the third best shot at the title while Duke is given the sixth best shot of any team, so our simulated 2020 title game could be a preview of a big 2021 March Madness game.
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.
Duke won the turnover battle 20-9, and out rebounded Iowa 30-28 despite another double double from All-American Luka Garza (12 points, 10 rebounds).
Results for Elite 8 Games (Regional Titles, stats through 3 games):
East Region Championship
3-game highlights - 1-seed Dayton - Leading tourney scores 79 ppg; Toppin 22 ppg, 10 rpg; Crutcher 20 ppg; 10-seed Indiana - Jackson-Davis 19 ppg, 8 rpg; held UVa to tourney low 44 points. Check back for results.
Result - 10-Indiana 81 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 to make the Final 4. Before Syracuse and Loyola did it in the last 4 years only three double-digit seeds in history made the Final 4.
In addition to Syracuse who many questioned even being invited after being beaten up in the ACC, the run resembles the UConn team earlier in the decade who finished 10th in the rugged Big East before getting a 9-seed and going not only to the Final 4 but to win the title. This year's Big Ten was overall one of the great conferences in history and also boasts another team still alive (Iowa awaits their Elite 8 game) indicates anyone could have come out with a run. Jackson-Davis and Joey Brunk simply overpowered Ryan Mikesell and player of the year Obi Toppin, who were great scorers inside but not great rim protectors - which proved a bad match-up in this game.
Midwest Region Championship
3-game highlights - 2-seed Creighton scores 79 ppg; Alexander 25 ppg, 4 3-pts per game, Zegarowski 20 ppg, 4 3-pts/gm. 1-seed Kansas - Tourney low 59 ppg allowed; Azubuike 18 ppg, 11 rpg; 5 blocks, pg; Dotson 20 ppg, 4 steals pg. Check back for results.
Result - 2- Creighton 85, 1-Kansas 80. In a year in which a record number of No. 1 seeds lost during the season and many predicted a lot of upsets in March Madness, Kansas became the third No.1 seed to lose in the Elite 8, leaving none for the Final Four.
The Blue Jays continued to be the best 3-point shooting team in the tournament ( misand inend thof singthe real regular season when they destroyed Seton Hall) own record by one (11 made, projected 16 in actual 44 possession game). Marcus Zegarowski (21 points, 5 3-pts) and Ty-Son Alexander (21, 2) to build a 65-44 lead with 13:11 to play. Devon 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 Christian Braun for a potential game-tying shit, 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.
South Region Championship
3-game highlights - 1-seed Baylor allows 60.0 ppg; Gillespie 16 ppg, 15 rpg, 5 blks/gm; Butler 21 ppg. 3-seed Duke - Balance 6 players hit double figures; Goldwire 5 steals pg & team 11 steals pg. Check back for results.
Result - 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 - leading 39-22 at halftime. The team topped their incredible 11 steals a game in the tournament with 12, as Jordan Goldwater (9, 4 steals) and Jones spent much of the game stealing the ball and passing to the other for a fastbreak score. Baylor's Freddie Gillespie capped an incredible tournament with another (17,13, 5 steal game) and fouled Vernon Carey out in the game. While Baylow was the 1-seed based on Bracket Matrix, we actually calculated Duke as the favorite in the game.
West Region Championship
3-game highlights - 4-seed Oregon - Pritchard 17 ppg, 3 steals pg leads most balanced attack with 8 players averaging 5.3 or more. 6-seed Iowa - Allow 60 ppg, Garza 13 ppg, 11 rpg, 5 blocks pg; Weiskamp 19, 6.: Check back for results.
Result - 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.
The game was our first match-up of www.valueaddbasketball.com 1st team All-American players. Oregon's Payton Pritchard scored 17 points and had 3 steals, but committed his third foul with 18:04 to go and had to play soft defense to avoid fouling for several minutes.
As part of the Big Ten's dominance, Iowa played four non-conference www.kenpom.com A-level teams AWAY FROM HOME and lost only to San Diego State while bearing Texas Tech by 11,Syracuse by 14 and Iowa State by 16 - so the neutral court double digit win vs.Oregon was par for the course.
All-Tournament Team Through Sweet 16 games:
PG - 1, Dotson, Kansas 20 pt, 4 stl; 2, Zagarowski, Creighton, 20 pt, 4 3-pts; 3, Pritchard, Oregon 17 ppg, 3 stls; 4, Buie, Hofstra, 24 ppg in 2 games.
SG - 1, Alexander, Creighton, 25 ppg, 4 3 pts; 2, Butler, Baylor, 21 ppg; 3, Crutcher, Dayton, 20 ppg; 3, Goldwater, Duke, 5 steals; 4, Daniels, NC State, 18 ppg, 5 reb, 3 steals pg in 3 games; 5, Auburn, Doughty, 20 ppg in 2 gms.
SF - 1, Toolson, BYU, 23 ppg in 2 games; 2, Maxey, Kentucky, 13 ppg, 6 reb, held opponents to 9/3; 3, Smith, Indiana, 13,7; 4, Bryce, NC State, 13, 7.
PF - 1, Weiskamp, Iowa, 19 ppg, 8 reb, 6 blocks; 2, Jackson-Davis 19 ppg, 6 reb3, 3, Nwora, Lville, 21 ppg, 5 rpg in 3 games; 4, Okongwu, USC, 17 ppg, 8 rpg.
C - 1, Toppin, Dayton, 22 ppg, 10 reb; 2, Azubuike, Kansas, 18 pts, 11 reb, 5 blocks; 3, Garza, Iowa, 13 ppg, 11 reb, 6 blocks; 4, Gillespie, Balor, 16 pts, 15 reb, 5 blocks; 5, Teske, Michigan, 18 ppg, 7 reb, 7 blocks ppg in 3 games; 6, Atkinson, Yale, 24 ppg, 7 rpg in 2 games.
Results in alphabetical order of Sweet 16 teams:
The plan is for no games Good Friday, then continue with two marquees Sweet 16 and the Elite 8 on Saturday.
Arizona St. 59, Iowa 68. Look for details when the game is final. ASU was the first team to hold www.valueaddbasketball.com 1st team All-American Luka Garza (9,9) in check, but his wingman Joe Wieskamp (26,8) took over. ASU PG Remy Martin (16) led ASU, which had a 34-30 edge on a Weiskamp 3-pointer and then steal and 3 free throws after being fouled on the break made it 54-42.
Baylor 65, Kentucky 58. Kentucky's 6-11 Nick Richards (6 points, 12 rebounds) led the big line-up that was the first to contain Baylor's only player over 6-3 much of the game - building a 38-29 rebounding edge.
Gillespie finally broke through with an offensive rebound and dunk with 4:43 left to tie the game 52-52 and MaCio Teague gave Baylor their first lead, 58-54, on a 4-point play with 1:52 left.
Baylor's typical incredible defense forced 25 Kentucky turnovers to just 13 by Baylor to offset the rebounding disadvantage. The rally offset another great game by SG Immanauel Quigley (17), and Tyrese Maxey also scored 17, but the other six Kentucky players only combined to 24 points against the harassing Baylor defense.
Creighton 86, Michigan 63. Marcus Zegarowski (24, 4 3-pts) and 3rd team www.valueaddbasketball.com Ty-Son Alexander (29, 5 3-pts) led record-setting 12 3-pointers in 44 possession game (like 18 in full game). Creighton scored on first 13 possessions including 5 three-pointers to take 49-32 in-game that resembled another barrage by a Big East team in actual play Villanova in 2018 title game.
Dayton 79, Louisville 70. Louisville rotated three 6'10" or taller players on Wooden Award Player of the Year Obi Toppin to hold him to 10 points and 9 rebounds through 6:21 to player and Dayton only up 61-60. However, from there Toppin and www.valueaddbasketball.com 5th team All-American Jalen Crutcher took over to offset another great outing by Value Add All-ACC 1st teamer Jordan Nwora.
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. www.valueaddbasketball.com Sun Belt player of the year Ruot Monyyong (14, 8, 8 blocks) put Little Rock in position for a third straight huge upset with a 64-58 lead with 5 minutes to play before Tre Jones took over. 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. Vernon Carey (13,9) took over inside to wrap up the 82-72 win.
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 (see Arizona St. above).
Kansas 58, Wisconsin 52. Kansas was on 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.
The best team (Kansas) held the sharp-shooters from the hottest team from the best conference without a 3-pointer until then. However the Badgers then put on the most impressive run we've seen in hundreds of VABG games by winning the final 3:21 21-5 including 6 3-pointers and Azubbuike finishing an 0-7 game from the line (his 1-9 range on the 20-sided die gives him a 45% chance at each free throw). The game might have come down to the final seconds except for Azubbuike grabbing and offensive rebound and kicking it out to Marcus Garrett for a 3-pointer.
Kentucky (see Baylor above).
Little Rock (see Duke above).
Louisville (see Dayton above).
Michigan (see Creighton above).
NC State (see Indiana above).
4-Oregon 72, 9-USC 65. Chris Duarte was the leading scorer and rebounder (13,8) though in a much more balanced attack then when he put up 30 and 11 in the Ducks' real regular-season win over USC. www.valueaddbasketball.com national Runner-Up player if the year Payton Pritchard was finally held in check (12 points) but hit a late 3-pointer and traditional basket plus free throw to break open a tight 53-51 game.
Value Add Pac-12 Runner-Up POY Onyeka Okongwu was also held in check (11,4) as well after a dominant performance in the real matchup during the year that rallied USC to force overtime before falling 79-70 in double overtime to the eventual Pac-12 champions.
USC (see Oregon above).
Wisconsin (see Kansas above).