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Bracketologist Simulates NCAA Tournament Featuring No. 6 Seed BYU Basketball

Mar 19, 2020, 1:40 PM | Updated: 1:44 pm
byu-basketball-yoeli-childs-gonzaga-upset...
Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) celebrates with fans who rushed the court after BYU toppled No. 2-ranked Gonzaga 91-78 at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah –  ESPN Bracketologist simulated an NCAA Tournament matchup in the second round between his No. 6 seed BYU Cougars and his No. 11 seed Indiana Hoosiers.

Lunardi posted the results of his simulation based on “a season’s worth of analytics, observations and occasional attempts at humor” via Twitter on Thursday, March 19.

The simulation took place on the same day that NCAA Tournament games would have taken place had they not been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

In Lunardi’s bracket, the Cougars would have played against the Hoosiers in Albany, NY as a member of the West Region.

Lunardi’s project had BYU up 40-21 after the first 20 minutes of game time. The Cougars held the Hoosiers to 29.7 percent shooting in the first half to go up 19 points at the break.

In the second half, BYU continued to roll behind 16-28 makes from beyond the arc. Lunardi had the Cougars taking down IU 78-61 to advance to the round of the 32.

Lunardi projected that BYU would face the winner of the matchup between No. 3 seed Seton Hall and No. 14 seed Eastern Washington.

Lunardi said that he will continue to play out his bracket on Twitter.

NCAA Tournament Canceled 

Due to concerns of coronavirus, the NCAA canceled its annual basketball tournaments on Thursday, March 12.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the statement read.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt announced the decision to not reveal brackets on Sunday, March 15.

“Anything less than a credible process is inconsistent with the tradition of the NCAA basketball championships. Brackets based on hypotheticals can’t substitute for a complete selection, seeding and bracketing process,” wrote Gavitt in a statement. “There will always be an asterisk next to the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships regardless if brackets are released. There is not an authentic way to produce tournament fields and brackets at this point without speculating and that isn’t fair to the teams that would be positively or negatively impacted by manufacturing March Madness.”

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