The Imaginary NCAA tournament imaginary schedule

The best three weeks in sports are gone.

Maryland's Alex Len defends against Ryan Kelly
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Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the entire 2020 NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been cancelled. This is the right decision to slow down the spread of this highly dangerous disease, but college basketball fans will always wonder what might have been. Since we can’t have March Madness in reality, let’s go ahead with it in our imaginations.

I’ll be simulating the entire NCAA tournament using the college basketball game simulator on whatifsports.com. The fun starts tonight at 6:40 PM with the first play-in game, and continues through the championship game on April 6.

Who will pull off this year’s big first-round upset? Who will be the Cinderella team that makes a deep run late into the tournament? And who will win it all?

Here is the schedule – let’s find out!

Tuesday March 17th

6:40 PM: (16) Jackson State vs. (16) Robert Morris (East regional play-in game in Dayton, Ohio)
8:40 PM: (11) Iowa vs. (11) St. Louis (East regional play-in game, Dayton)

Wednesday March 18th

6:40 PM: (16) North Carolina Central vs. (16) Princeton (West regional play-in game, Dayton)
8:40 PM: (12) USC vs. (12) Mississippi State (East regional play-in game, Dayton)

Thursday March 19th

Noon: (6) Butler vs. (11) Florida (West regional from Albany, New York)
12:30 PM: (5) LSU vs. (12) Stephen F. Austin (South regional from Tampa, Florida)
1:20 PM: (7) Houston vs. (10) Arkansas (West regional from St. Louis, Missouri)
1:50 PM: (4) Oregon vs. (13) New Mexico State (West regional from Spokane, Washington)
2:30 PM: (6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Iowa / St. Louis winner (East, Albany)
3:00 PM: (7) East Tennessee State vs. (10) Wichita State (East, Tampa)
3:50 PM: (2) Michigan State vs. (15) South Alabama (South, St. Louis)
4:20 PM: (1) Gonzaga vs. (16) NCCU / Princeton winner (West, Spokane)
6:45 PM: (3) Baylor vs. (14) North Dakota State (West, Albany)
7:00 PM: (4) Villanova vs. (13) Vermont (South, Tampa)
7:15 PM: (2) Creighton vs. (15) Northern Kentucky (Midwest, St. Louis)
7:15 PM: (5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Liberty (West, Spokane)
9:15 PM: (3) West Virginia vs. (14) Toledo (East, Albany)
9:30 PM: (2) Louisville vs. (15) Winthrop (East, Tampa)
9:45 PM: (7) Utah State vs. (10) Notre Dame (South, St. Louis)
9:55 PM: (8) UCLA vs (9) Providence (West, Spokane)

Friday, March 20th

Noon: (3) Florida State vs. (14) Hofstra (Midwest regional from Greensboro, North Carolina)
12:30 PM: (6) Cincinnati vs. (11) Rutgers (South regional from Cleveland, Ohio)
1:20 PM: (1) Duke vs. (16) Portland State (South regional from Omaha, Nebraska)
1:50 PM: (2) San Diego State vs. (15) UC Irvine (West regional from Sacramento, California)
2:30 PM: (4) Maryland vs. (13) Bradley (East, Greensboro)
3:00 PM: (8) Illinois vs. (9) Richmond (East, Cleveland)
3:50 PM: (8) Michigan vs. (9) Auburn (Midwest, Omaha)
4:20 PM: (5) Ohio State vs. (12) Louisiana Tech (Midwest, Sacramento)
6:45 PM: (6) Kentucky vs. (11) Colorado (Midwest, Greensboro)
7:00 PM: (3) BYU vs. (14) Siena (South, Cleveland)
7:15 PM: (8) Marquette vs. (9) Virginia (South, Omaha)
7:15 PM: (7) St. Mary’s of California vs. (10) Penn State (West, Sacramento)
9:15 PM: (5) Seton hall vs. (12) USC / Mississippi State winner (East, Greensboro)
9:30 PM: (1) Dayton vs. (16) Jackson State / Robert Morris winner (East, Cleveland)
9:45 PM: (1) Kansas vs. (16) Boston University (Midwest, Omaha)
9:55 PM: (4) Arizona vs. (13) Belmont (Midwest, Sacramento)

I’ll update the games as they would have happened on my Twitter feed at @fixthemadness. Here’s the bracket to follow along as we go. Let the fun begin!

NCAA tournament bracket

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