2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket. What Might Have Happened? First Four Results

Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket. What Might Have Happened? First Four Results

College Basketball

2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket. What Might Have Happened? First Four Results

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What if the 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament went off like normal? What the bracket might have been, and what would’ve happened in each game?


Let’s just pretend this whole global nightmare thing didn’t happen, and let’s just assume that the 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament went off as normal.

Everyone is healthy, there are crowds, there are bands, everyone is playing – including Duke and Kansas – and there’s all the fun of what’s normally this most glorious time on the sports calendar.

We’re going to play this out over the next several days from the First Four right up to the national championship with our own brackets, seedings, and game outcomes.

Let’s have some fun.

We try to figure out what the best overall matchups might be, throw in games that would make geographic sense, NET Rankings, and – sorry for being boring – we go chalk on who the conference tournament champions might have been.

And then it’s Game On.

Just so there’s absolutely no confusion – of course the real NCAA Tournament is cancelled – these are all our seedings, matchups, lines, brackets and projections. Nothing about this comes from the NCAA selection committee. 

The 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket might have been (trying to get it as close to the pin as possible) …

First Four Out

-Wichita State, Texas, Northern Iowa, NC State

2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament First Four. What Might Have Happened?

11 Xavier vs. 11 Stanford

Game Site: Dayton, OH
Line: Xavier -3.5, o/u: 133
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened
Stanford couldn’t handle anything on the boards as Xavier overcame a rough shooting day with 16 offensive rebounds in the win. Stanford held a 38-35 lead at halftime, but Xavier went on a quick 8-0 run to start the second half and never trailed again behind Naji Marshall’s 19 points. Uncharacteristically, the Musketeers were able to put the game away on the line.
Final Score: Xavier 75, Stanford 68

12 UCLA vs. 12 Liberty

Game Site: Dayton, OH
Line: UCLA -5.5 o/u: 128.5
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened
Liberty’s Caleb Homesley 3-point try at the buzzer rimmed out after Jaime Jaquez gave UCLA the lead on a 15-footer with eight seconds to play. It was a back-and-forth defensive fight with neither team able to establish any sort of a groove. The Flames couldn’t get anything going early, but UCLA couldn’t hit anything from the outside. The Bruins won the battle on the boards just enough to take control in the second half, only for the Flames to tie it at 55 on a seven point run. UCLA held the ball in the final moments before Homesley was able to pull up for his game-winner.
Final Score: UCLA 57, Liberty 55

16 Robert Morris vs. 16 Prairie View A&M

Game Site: Dayton, OH
Line: Robert Morris -2.5, o/u: 138
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened
The Panthers hit their free throws and the Colonials didn’t. It was an air-tight game with neither side able to get up by more than three until the final two minutes when Prairie View A&M’s Gerard Andrus hit five straight points to put the team up by three. It turned into a free throw contest with the Panthers hitting all four of their tries to pull away, and the Colonials going 1-for-5down the stretch. RMU stayed in the game on timely threes, but PVAM kept answering until taking over late.
Final Score: Prairie View A&M 72, Robert Morris 68

16 NC Central vs. Siena

Game Site: Dayton, OH
Line: Siena -8.5, o/u: 141
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened
Siena went on a 13-2 run to start the game and coasted from there. NC Central couldn’t by a basket early, but managed to make a few mini-runs off steals and easy buckets. Even so, it never had the lead as the Saints’ Jalen Pickett and Manny Cooper combined for 34 points in the comfortable win.
Final Score: Siena 77, NC Central 65

2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament First Round. What Might Have Happened?

2020 NCAA TOURNAMENT EAST REGION

1 Dayton vs. 16 North Dakota State

Game Site: Cleveland, Ohio
Line: Dayton -18.5, o/u: 157
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

8 Florida vs. 9 Arizona State

Game Site: Cleveland, Ohio
Line: Florida -3.5, o/u: 144.5
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

5 Auburn vs. 12 UCLA/Liberty

Game Site: Greensboro, NC
Line: COMING, o/u: COMING
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

4 Louisville vs. 13 New Mexico State

Game Site: Greensboro, NC
Line: Louisville -5.5, o/u: 137
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

6 Illinois vs. 11 Xavier/Stanford

Game Site: Greensboro, NC
Line: COMING, o/u: COMING
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

3 Duke vs. 14 North Texas

Game Site: Greensboro, NC
Line: Duke -21, o/u: 138.5
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

7 Iowa vs. 10 ETSU

Game Site: St. Louis, MO
Line: Iowa -3, o/u: 140.5
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

2 Creighton vs. 15 Eastern Washington

Game Site: St. Louis, MO
Line: Creighton -13, o/u: 146
Game Analysis, What Would’ve Happened COMING
Final Score: COMING

NEXT: 2020 NCAA TOURNAMENT MIDWEST REGION

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