Bracketology 2020: How the NCAA Tournament field might have looked

The 2020 NCAA Tournament is cancelled. In this final edition of bracketology for the season, let’s examine what the field could have looked like.

I have to admit that this isn’t easy. While I understand that there are much bigger issues in the world than the cancellation of a basketball tournament, the inevitable decision to eliminate the 2020 Big Dance is a hard pill to swallow. Players and coaches worked diligently for the past several months to build a resume worthy of hearing their names called on Selection Sunday for the shot at having their own “one shining moment.”

Yet, due to the ever-increasing concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, there will be no postseason college basketball this year. While we will miss the roaring crowds across the country, the Cinderella stories of the opening weekend and beyond, and the glorious endings to historic senior seasons, it is best to not forget what could have been. Building this final bracketology field based on the resumes from the 2019-20 college basketball season was a challenge considering the news of the cancellation but it opens up all the “what if” scenarios that could have been.

For those interested, here is what the 2020 NCAA Tournament field might have looked like if Selection Sunday still occurred and the ball ended up being tipped across the nation:

South Region

(1) Kansas vs. (61) NC Central/Robert Morris

(8) LSU vs. (9) Rutgers

(4) Louisville vs. (13) Akron

(5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Stephen F. Austin

(6) Virginia vs. (11) Wichita State

(3) Maryland vs. (14) UC Irvine

(7) Houston vs. (10) Arizona State

(2) Creighton vs. (15) North Dakota State

West Region

(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Prairie View A&M/Boston University

(8) Marquette vs. (9) Florida

(4) Oregon vs. (13) Vermont

(5) Ohio State vs. (12) Liberty

(6) Iowa vs. (11) East Tennessee State

(3) Seton Hall vs. (14) Bradley

(7) Saint Mary’s vs. (10) Indiana

(2) San Diego State vs. (15) Little Rock

Midwest Region

(1) Baylor vs. (16) Siena

(8) Colorado vs. (9) Providence

(4) Kentucky vs. (13) New Mexico State

(5) BYU vs. (12) Texas Tech/Cincinnati

(6) Penn State vs. (11) Utah State

(3) Duke vs. (14) Belmont

(7) Illinois vs. (10) USC

(2) Villanova vs. (15) Northern Kentucky

East Region

(1) Dayton vs. (16) Winthrop

(8) Arizona vs. (9) Oklahoma

(4) Butler vs. (13) North Texas

(5) Auburn vs. (12) Yale

(6) West Virginia vs. (11) Xavier/NC State

(3) Michigan State vs. (14) Hofstra

(7) Michigan vs. (10) Richmond

(2) Florida State vs. (15) Eastern Washington

Next: Impact of canceling the 2020 NCAA Tournament

That concludes this season of bracketology. It is certainly a tough end considering we will never hear the committee announce their field nor will we see the teams actually take the court to fight for the end goal of being named national champions. We are now over 365 days away from the next NCAA Tournament, and that is hard to imagine.