NCAA Tourney Bracket Simulation Advances BYU Into Sweet 16 On 40-Foot Buzzer-Beater
PROVO, Utah – ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi simulated a Round of 32 NCAA Tournament win by his No. 6 seed BYU Cougars over his No. 3 seed Seton Hall Pirates on a 40-foot buzzer-beating shot by Jake Toolson.
Lunardi posted the results of his simulation based on “a season’s worth of analytics, observations and occasional attempts at humor” via Twitter on Saturday, March 21.
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 his bracket, Lunardi had BYU beating Seton Hall 83-82 on a 40-foot shot by Jake Toolson to advance to its first Sweet 16 since 2011.
In Lunardi’s bracket, the Cougars played the Pirates in Albany, NY as a member of the West Region. Lunardi originally had BYU advance to the Round of 32 with a second-round win over the No. 11 seed Indiana Hoosiers.
Lunardi said that he will continue to play out his bracket on Twitter.
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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