Basketball

Missing March Madness 2020: Day 3 voting results of tourney bracket

The actual NCAA Tournament has been canceled, but Sporting News is still offering the chance to pick upsets and virtually watch your favorite teams advance, round-by-round to the Final Four.

With the first round games in the books Thursday and Friday — a handful of double-digit seeds advanced — the first day of the second round took place on Saturday. I’m not saying it was dusty in here, but there was plenty of chalk.

Breaking down the voting from Round 2, Day 3:

MISSING MARCH MADNESS: Playing out full schedule, scores for 2020 NCAA Tournament

MIDWEST REGION

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Houston

Your vote: Kansas wins, 81.5 percent to 18.5 percent

Thoughts: There are teams in this field that could give Kansas fits, but Houston is not one of those teams. The Jayhawks are an elite defensive team inside the arc — opponents made just 42.4 percent of their 2-point attempts (third in the nation) — and Houston shot just 46.6 percent inside the arc, 291st in the nation. So the Cougars aren’t going to score inside, and Kansas’ length and athleticism would make it tough to score outside, too.

No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 12 Cincinnati

Your vote: Louisville wins, 65.0 to 35.0

Thoughts: The Cardinals would be just too much, especially with Jordan Nwora back in the groove after a rough stretch (averaging 19 points and 11.5 rebounds the final two regular season games).

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 West Virginia

Your vote: Michigan State wins, 54.8 to 45.2

Thoughts: If any team could handle the pressure a Bob Huggins team brings in March, you would figure Michigan State — with senior Cassius Winston leading the way — would be the team to make that happen. Especially with how well the Spartans played down the stretch.

No. 2 Creighton vs. No. 10 Utah State

Your vote: Creighton wins, 70.5 to 29.5

Thoughts: Utah State was the only non-power school to advance as a double-digit seed, by your vote. But the ride ends here against a Creighton team that took the under-the-radar path to a No. 2 seed. The Bluejays are legit, though.

MISSING MARCH MADNESS RECAPS:
Day 1 | Day 2

EAST REGION

No. 1 Dayton vs. No. 9 Rutgers

Your vote: Dayton wins, 81.0 to 19.0

Thoughts: That might have been the score, 81-19. OK, not really, but Dayton would have almost certainly cruised in this matchup. Shout out to Rutgers for a season in which the Scarlet Knights almost certainly were going to make the tournament, though.

No. 4 Seton Hall vs. No. 5 Ohio State

Your vote: Seton Hall wins, 52.5 to 47.5

Thoughts: Myles Powell had another 30-plus points and another run of clutch baskets down the stretch to help the Hall narrowly knock off tOSU.

No. 3 Duke vs. No. 6 Iowa

Your vote: Duke wins, 57.6 to 42.4

Thoughts: Personally, I think Duke would have had all kinds of trouble with SN Player of the Year Luka Garza inside, but as long as the bigs stayed out of foul trouble and the perimeter guys knocked down perimeter shots — certainly possible, but far from certain this year — Duke could have made this happen. You agree.

No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 10 Marquette

Your vote: Florida State wins, 77.6 to 22.4

Thoughts: Markus Howard is a star, but Florida State’s defense was legit. Even if Howard got his points, the Seminoles would have shut down everyone else.

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