2020 NCAA Tournament Simulation Results of East Region
First Round is underway.
We have our first upset out of the East region and an exciting first day of games.
We are joining the herd by simulating a March Madness bracket through this month. We are doing ours a touch differently and are not going to just blow out the bracket in a few days. Our plan is to have this going on for probably two or so weeks. In the first few days we will have the first and second rounds done by over the weekend.
The way we are doing the simulation is through WhatIfSports.com and it will be a one-and-done simulation. Both teams will be played on a neutral floor and we will post the box score and play-by-play info that was generated.
Cleveland, OH–They wouldn’t have been the first ever sixteenth seed to pull the upset and everyone was cheering for the favorite instead of the underdog in this one as Dayton won over the hearts of thousands, maybe millions this past season. But that didn’t matter to the Eagles as they made it a close one in Cleveland by avenging a poor first half performance and outscoring the Flyers 45-35 in the second half. It wasn’t enough as they couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves in the first half. Even though Obi Toppin was relatively quiet with only 12 points and 6 rebounds, Trey Landers led Dayton with 18 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Flyers to the next round.
Cleveland, OH–This one seemed close, like most No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed games. As Buffaloes and Golden Eagles played hard a tough game mid-afternoon. But Markus Howard never got the help he needed pouring in 32 points and Sacar Amin the only other Marquette player in double-digits with ten points. Colorado’s attack was a bit more balanced and although they have several guys who can get it done for them, Mckinley Wright IV led them with a double-double consisting of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Tad Boyle’s team moves on with some confidence after a double-digit win over one of the best scorers in the country.
Sacramento, CA–Auburn usually plays some of their best basketball in the tournament and are looking for an encore performance to their Final Four appearance last year. Cincinnati attempted the upset but struggled in the first half and turned the ball over seventeen times. J’von McCormick led the Tigers with 15 points but had help as Auburn advances with their net cutting aspirations still alive.
Sacramento, CA–Wisconsin surprised everyone coming in at the No. 4 seed as they looked like a team set to miss out on the tournament back in beginning of the season. They didn’t disappoint, receiving double-digit scoring from six different players. But it was big man Nate Reuvers who led them with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. North Texas played a tough game and almost became the first double-digit seed to get an upset behind 29 points from junior guard Javion Hamlet. The Badgers move on, but a little shook up from a close 6-point victory.
Greensboro, NC–Our first Mountain West team appearance is Utah State in the East and though they kept the first half deficit to just one point, they couldn’t seal the deal in this one. As double-teaming Sam Merrill in the final minutes proved to be effective by Iowa. Brock Miller led the Aggies as the team’s hot hand in this one with 21 points while finding space on the perimeter with all eyes on Merrill. Luke Garza seemed to be the difference maker in this one as he finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds showing poise against one of the better frontcourts in the Mountain West. The Hawkeyes advance, expecting a match up against the Blue Devils in the next round, barring a Belmont upset of course.
Greensboro, NC–Belmont was on everyone’s list of possible Cinderella’s and it’s quite understandable. But they were going up against the Duke Blue Devils who didn’t plan on being a part of their fairy tail story. The Blue Devil’s are young but talented and were led by freshman Cassius Stanley who chipped in 17 points in this 11-point win. The Bruins didn’t make it easy but were just out shot from every spot on the field and out rebounded 45-34. Coach K’s team moves on as they look to go further than last March, and that means a Final Four appearance.
Albany, NY–The first upset in the region came in the No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed match up of the No.7 Houston Cougars against the No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils. Houston and head coach Kelvin Sampson have had a great season led by Freshman guard Caleb Mills and a balanced supporting cast.
This didn’t turn out how Cougar fans might have wanted as a tough shooting night for Houston’s stars might have been their downfall against a hot handed Rob Edwards, who finished the night with 25 points after going 6-11 from deep. Arizona State advances to face the winner of Villanova and Northern Kentucky later in the day, hoping for a Norse upset to avoid facing one of the best coaches in March Madness history in Jay Wright.
Albany, NY–Jay Wright’s teams always perform well in March and even though this one was closer than they would have wanted they move on with a 10-point win over the Norse of Northern Kentucky. The Norse kept their tournament ticket this year under first year head coach Darrin Horn and kept it close but hot hand and former Louisville Cardinal Tyler Sharpe couldn’t do it alone as he finishes the night with 18 points. Villanova found their production in Jermaine Samuels in this one as he ends the night with a team high 16 points to help the Wildcats advance on after a double-digit win over a dangerous Northern Kentucky team.