BYU Upsets San Diego State To Reach Elite Eight In NCAA Tournament Bracket Simulation
Lunardi posted the results of his simulation via Twitter on Thursday, March 26. 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.
The Cougars reached their first Elite Eight since 1981 in Lunardi’s bracket by defeating the Aztecs 77-72.
The bracketologist had BYU taking a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime. In the second half, Lunardi had the Cougars outscoring the Aztecs by four points to take the five-point victory.
The Sweet 16 matchup in Lunardi’s bracket, had it taken place in reality, would have been a rematch of a regular-season non-conference meeting between the two teams. In the second game of the season, San Diego State traveled to Provo to play BYU. The Aztecs beat a Yoeli Childs-less Cougar team 76-71. San Diego State finished the regular season with a 30-2 record and a top 10 ranking.
In Lunardi’s Elite Eight matchup, BYU would play No. 1 seed and West Coast Conference rival Gonzaga. In the Sweet 16, the bracketologist had the Bulldogs beat No. 5 seed Michigan to advance to the Elite Eight of the tourney.
BYU last played in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 1981 when Cougar great Danny Ainge was playing.
Lunardi said that he will continue to play out his bracket on Twitter.
Due to coronavirus concerns, 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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