Simulation Sunday: Projections of the 2020 NCAA Tournament show we could have had a wild March Madness

Seven groups graced the No. 1 spot in the AP university basketball rankings this period.

That is tied for the most given that 1983.

It truly is a testomony to just how topsy-turvy university basketball was this period. And, most of all, it served as a barometer for just how superior — no, just how excellent — March Insanity would have been. Really should have been.

Throughout the superb frequent period, we saw Evansville take down No. 1 Kentucky as a 24.5 place underdog … at Rupp Arena. We saw Stephen F. Austin stun No. 1 Duke at the buzzer as a 28 place underdog … inside of Cameron Indoor. Oh, and did I mention Evansville took down Kentucky? That is definitely value mentioning in this room listed here.

This was likely to be the year of the broad-open up title race before the NCAA championships were canceled this 7 days over fears of the coronavirus pandemic. The period was predictable only in that almost everything was wholly unpredictable. And in March Insanity — exactly where upsets are the norm and volatility is a staple — we were likely to have it in spades. We were expecting it to be March Insanity on steroids, but if individuals steroids had also been juiced with HGH.

Now we are going to never know what might’ve happened.

Simulate the period on a laptop like the SportsLine people did, and Dayton wins it all. Use statistical metrics like KenPom or Bart Torvik, and Kansas from leading to bottom is considered the best staff. Attract a title out of a hat, and well, who the heck is aware?

The latter is the evaluate I pick to feel would have been the most correct in predicting who might acquire it all this period, as well. You could make a respectable situation for fifteen-moreover groups to be considered real title threats in 2020.

San Diego State had its best shot to acquire it all in yrs immediately after putting up a thirty-two history. Villanova could’ve won its third title given that 2016. Baylor’s dream period could’ve turned into a fairytale ending. Dayton, Maryland, Michigan State, Seton Hall, Duke, Kentucky — the record goes on. Each individual 1 of individuals courses had real mettle to participate in deep into March, perhaps into early April.

You can find completely no sugarcoating it: it stinks for absolutely everyone.


But there’s also some pleasurable hypotheticals that occur with the cancellation of the period now that uncertainty is the only selected in what was, frankly, 1 of the most pleasurable and frenzied university hoops seasons the past decade. You can find exhilaration in the mysterious. You can make your individual evaluation and judge it your individual way. If you imagined Dayton was the most potent staff in the activity, then hey, you individual that. If you imagined Kansas’ duo of Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike was a respectable adequate tandem to have KU to the crown, then possibly which is the staff that sticks with you, the staff you will normally trip for when we mirror on the chaos of 2020. Probably you bought in to Seton Hall or Kentucky and imagined they had the best likelihood to slash down nets.

The pleasurable component is that no make any difference how you look at it, you happen to be not erroneous. It truly is the ultimate sports activities what-if with no real reply. We now have a bar subject to discussion for the relaxation of our lives. (Kansas, for my funds, was my choose. Invest in me a beer and encourage me usually.)

And hey, let’s confront it: The real pleasurable of university basketball is that the best staff in university basketball each period doesn’t normally acquire the nationwide championship. The 2014-fifteen Kentucky staff went 38- … then dropped in the Closing 4 to Wisconsin. The 1996-1997 Kansas staff led by Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz — which went 34-two — fell in the Sweet Sixteen that year. The Fab Five’s second iteration, in 1992-1993, went 31-5 and inevitably fell — in component due to the fact of the notorious Chris Webber timeout — to North Carolina in the title video game. You can find a randomness to one-elimination tournaments that constantly invites chaos.

And that is why we enjoy March.

Now the only chaos is off the court docket, leaving us to wonder what might have transpired on it. We’ll never know. But the pleasurable of the mysterious is adequate to preserve us coming again.