(1) Kansas 72-77 (7) Arizona
In a tournament with so many unexpected results, it somehow makes sense that a 7 seed would go on a run to win the whole thing. After taking down Oklahoma, Florida St., Seton Hall, and Liberty on their way to Atlanta, the high-scoring Wildcats outshot both Iowa and Kansas in order to cut down the nets. Their two standout freshmen led the way, with Nico Mannion leading all scorers with 26 points, and Zeke Nnaji contributing 17 points and 18 rebounds. Kansas stayed in the game until the end, but shaky outside shooting (5-23 from 3) proved costly. The only thing left to say is…CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS!!!
After two weekends of upsets, buzzer-beaters, and overtime classics, incredible stories and great teams surviving for four games, we’ve made it to Atlanta. In the first matchup, two 7 seeds in Arizona and Iowa will meet up. For Arizona, despite having some very talented teams that produced a number of NBA players, this is their first Final Four since 2001, and coach Sean Miller makes the first Final Four of his coaching career after a difficult couple of years. Iowa breaks an even longer streak, with player of the year candidate Luka Garza leading the Hawkeyes to their first Final Four since 1980. The second game sees two of 2019-20’s elite teams, although only one could be described as a blue blood. Bill Self leads Kansas to the program’s 16th Final Four, while Dayton, powered by the high-flying Obi Toppin, returns to the Final Four for the first time since 1967.
Saturday night’s games, with box scores and second half play-by-play attached as PDFs, are now posted. Check back in tomorrow night around 9pm ET to see who emerges as the 2020 What-If NCAA Tournament Champion!
(7) Arizona 90-80 (7) Iowa
Iowa led at halftime, but Arizona established a double digit lead late in the second half, and made just enough shots to keep the Hawkeyes from mounting a real comeback. Zeke Nnaji goes for 20 and 13, while Dylan Smith contributes five 3-pointers.
iowa-arizona box score
(1) Kansas 79-74 (1) Dayton
Dayton’s great run comes to an end. Despite trailing by 17 at the half, the Flyers made a great comeback effort, with Jalen Crutcher missing a 3 with 28 seconds to go that would have tied the game at 77. Kansas moves on to face Arizona on Monday night.
dayton-kansas box score
West (7) Iowa 81-69 (8) Florida 6:09 Los Angeles The Gators led midway through the second half, but Iowa pulls away with a 13-0 run to take control. Luka Garza leads the way with 33 points, leading the Hawkeyes to their first Final Four since 1980.
Midwest (1) Kansas 77-74 (2) Creighton 8:49 Indianapolis Kansas takes it in a nail-biter, despite some missed free throws giving Creighton a chance to tie late in the game. Udoka Azubuike puts in 23 points, with two key baskets down the stretch.
South (7) Arizona 78-51 (12) Liberty 2:20 Houston Leading by 1 with under 9 minutes to go in the first half, the Wildcats finished the half on a 26-5 run, and the game never really got close in the second half. Sean Miller makes the Final Four at last.
East (1) Dayton 104-103* (2) Duke 5:05 New York City Dayton’s dream season continues in this instant classic, with Tre Jones going from hero to villain. After Jones tied the game with a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to send the game to OT, he misses two free throws with 8 seconds to go, allowing Rodney Chatman to bring the ball up the floor and hit the game-winning 3.
Midwest (1) Kansas 86-83 (13) Akron 7:09 Indianapolis Akron hangs in there the entire way, even missing two attempts to tie the game in the final 10 seconds, but 26 points from Devon Dotson helps the Jayhawks survive.
West (5) West Virginia 60-67 (8) Florida 7:29 Los Angeles Are the Gators starting to look like the team that was a consensus top 10 pick in the preseason? Another back and forth affair, Florida clinches it with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
Midwest (2) Creighton 80-62 (6) Houston 9:39 Indianapolis Despite not having a great shooting night, it’s an easy victory for Creighton, Ty-Shon Alexander leading the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
West (6) Virginia 53-80 (7) Iowa 9:57 Los Angeles In a fairly shocking result, Iowa blows out the defending champs. Luka Garza scores 23, but with only one other Hawkeye in double figures, it’s all about their defense tonight.
East (1) Dayton 73-72 (4) Kentucky 7:09 New York City In a game where neither team led by more than 5 points in the second half, the Flyers scrape by as Nick Richards misses a potential game winner at the buzzer.
South (9) Providence 72-80 (12) Liberty 7:29 Houston Liberty’s Cinderella run continues. After nearly blowing a 17 point halftime lead and letting Providence get back to within 1, clutch shooting takes the Flames to the Elite 8.
East (2) Duke 79-73 (3) Villanova 9:39 New York City Duke’s offense was running on all cylinders, building a 21 point halftime lead, and not letting Villanova get within single digits until the waning minutes.
South (3) Seton Hall 75-86 (7) Arizona 9:57 Houston A close game midway through the second half, Arizona hit a barrage of 3-pointers to pull away and send the Pirates packing. Zeke Nnaji led the way with 22 points and 16 rebounds.
|1. Kansas (Omaha)
|1. Gonzaga (Spokane) |
|1. Baylor (Omaha) |1. Dayton (Cleveland)
|2. Creighton (St. Louis)
|2. San Diego St. (Sacramento) |
|2. Florida St. (Tampa) |2. Duke (Greensboro)
|3. Maryland (Greensboro) |
|3. Michigan St. (Cleveland) |3. Seton Hall (Albany)
||3. Villanova (Albany)
|4. Louisville (Tampa) |
|4. Oregon (Spokane) |
|4. Wisconsin (Sacramento) |4. Kentucky (St. Louis)
|5. Butler |5. West Virginia
|5. Auburn |
|5. Ohio St.
|6. BYU |
|7. LSU |7. Iowa
|7. Penn St.
|8. Colorado |8. Florida
|8. Illinois |
|8. Saint Mary’s
|9. Rutgers |
|9. Marquette |9. Providence
|9. Texas Tech
|10. Utah St. |
|10. Arizona St. |
|10. Oklahoma |
|11. Indiana |
|11. Richmond/ UCLA |
|11. Cincinnati |
|11. East Tennessee St.
|12. Yale |
|12. Stephen F. Austin |12. Liberty
|12. NC State/ Wichita St.
|13. Vermont |
|13. New Mexico St. |
|14. Eastern Washington |
|14. Bradley |
|14. North Texas |
|15. North Dakota St. |
|15. UC Irvine |
|15. Arkansas-Little Rock |
|15. Northern Kentucky
|Robert Morris/ NC Central |
|16. Siena |
|16. Winthrop |
|16. Boston University/ Prairie View A&M