What could have been: Seton Hall makes simulated Final Four

Oh, what could have been.

Here’s a feel-good item on another day filled with coronavirus uncertainty and anxiety.

There’s a bit of good news for Seton Hall men’s basketball fans. The Pirates overwhelmed top-seeded Gonzaga, 86-63, to advance to the Final Four of the Axios Simulated Madness tournament.

The bad news?

Seton Hall lost to Baylor in the simulated national semifinal, 71-64.

Baylor will meet Maryland in the simulated final later this week. Maryland beat Duke in the other simulated semifinal.

Axios sports editor Kendall Baker simulated the opening rounds and the Sweet 16/Elite 8 last week, using a bracket based off the final bracketology projections of Joe Lunardi.

It’s unclear from Axios’ daily newsletter just how he did it. But — nowadays — does anyone really care? This is just for fun.

Seton Hall was placed as the No. 3 seed in the West Region, which Pirates fans know always is a good spot for Seton Hall.

Seton Hall beat No. 14 seed Eastern Washington, 79-68, in the first round. It then defeated No. 11 Indiana to gain the Sweet 16, where it knocked off No. 2 seed San Diego State, 73-68.

Seton Hall wasn’t the only New Jersey team to have success.

Rutgers was given a No. 9 seed and beat St. Mary’s in a simulated first-round game, 77-69, before falling to Baylor.

A trip to the Final Four and an NCAA Tournament win? Hard to imagine college basketball fans in the state wanting more than that.

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