Publisher's Note: This is our go at Mythical March Madness and now entering the third round. The tournament and results are determined using all-time odds for each seed in NCAA Division I Men's Tournament history for advancement in each round. The roll of dice with rolls of six or below representing the higher-seeded team and rolls of seven or greater representing the lower-seeded team determine the results. If the game is written up as close then the roll of the dice went to the eighth, ninth, or tenth roll. If it is written up as a blowout then it was decided with few rolls needed. This is our preview of Thursday's and Friday's action.
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - From McArthur Court on the campus of the University of Oregon
No. 1 - Gonzaga (33-2) vs. No. 12 - Yale (25-6) No. 3 - Oregon (26-7) vs. No. 10 - Utah State (28-8)
This sure looks good for the No. 1 seed Gonzaga and their big front of Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert, and Killian Tillie, not to mention the young freshman Drew Timme ad they combine with the play making of guard Ryan Wooldridge. Gonzaga hasn not been challenged in the wins over North Carolina Central and Iowa. There is still Oregon and even though the Ducks have to play without a crowd, the Duck mascot, and their sexy cheerleaders, they are still at home and in these uncertain times there is a comfort in that.
"I'm glad this is mythical and even with the tournament being mythical, they are taking their precautions of no crowd," said faux Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "Our team has played well, but Yale is a force now and they have the momentum of beating Butler and BYU. We need to keep playing well."
The Ducks may have the greater challenge as Utah State's Sam Merrill has been one of the best players in the tournament in upsets over Marquette and Michigan State. The Aggies are one of the hottest teams in Mythical March Madness.
"My guys are helping me and getting me the ball in places that I can do something with it," said the faux Merrill. "I think we can keep it up."
From The Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania
No. 1 - Dayton (31-2) vs. No. 4 - Seton Hall (23-9) No. 2 - Duke (27-6) vs. No. 3 - Ohio State (23-10)
By far the most form perfect of the Mythical March Madness Regionals, the play has been good in Philly. The Palestra is just one game away from hosting what we think will be the best game of the tournament if No. 1 seed Dayton meets up with No. 2 Duke. That could be a powerful classic played in one of the greatest basketball venues on Earth.
Obi Toppin of Dayton has joined Sam Merrill in Eugene as being one of the two best players so far in Mythical March Madness. I would be surprised if Seton Hall beat Dayton, but the Buckeyes have enough weapons to potentially pull off the upset of the Blue Devils.
Friday, March 27, 2020 - From Allen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kansas
No. 1 - Kansas (30-3) vs. No. 5 - Arizona (23-11) No. 3 - Florida State (28-5) vs. No. 7 - Auburn (27-6)
You see what is left in Lawrence? Four different teams from four different power five conferences. Kansas has a decided advantage here and Bill Self's team is playing like they are on a mission. The inside game Udoka Azubuike and the outside game of guard Devon Dotson is hard to deal with.
"I do like the way we are playing right now," faux Kansas head coach Bill Self explained. "I respect Arizona and they have a very good team."
Noce coaching match-up in the other game as Leonard Hamilton of the Noles goes against Bruce Pearl of Auburn. That will be a treat to watch. Now if form holds then it will be a match-up to go to the Final Four of former boss against former assistant as Self was an assistant on Leonard Hamilton's staff at Oklahoma State back in the mid eighties.
From Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University
No. 1 - Baylor (28-4) vs. No. 5 - Houston (25-8) No. 2 - San Diego State (32-2) vs. No. 6 - Texas Tech (20-13)
The committee wasn't being silly when they picked Moody Coliseum to host this bracket as three of the final four in the Baylor regional are from the state of Texas. This former Southwest Conference court inside Moody Coliseum has been host many times to Baylor, Texas Tech, and back in the day and more recently Houston as the Cougar play at SMU in American Athletic Conference play. Maybe Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars have an advantage.
"I'd love to think so, but I don't believe it," said faux UH head coach Kelvin Sampson. "No crowds and I think after winning two games here as we all have, everybody has a comfort level and every team is capable of turning that into a discomfort level."
Coverage from all four of the regional sites kicks back up on Pokes Report on the SI/Maven network on Thursday from Oregon and Pennsylvania.