Cardinals’ basketball wins national championship in virtual simulation

By John McCarthy —

With live sports have been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an emergence of esports. These simulated games help fill the void of traditional sports leagues now on hiatus.

ESPN took advantage of the opportunity and aired 12 hours of esports which included a Madden NFL20 tournament, a F1 Virtual Grand Prix, the Rocket League World Championship and an NBA 2K players tournament. Along with these events, Madden has also run a Greatest of All-Time tournament featuring the best players from every team. The tournaments utilize advanced algorithms to run the simulations.

One Twitter user, @2020NCAASim2020,  used a similar method to run a simulation on the 2020 March Madness Tournament, and the University of Louisville came out on top to win the virtual National Championship on April 6.

The bracket was based on the final projections from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. The twitter handle, who is not associated with the NCAA, said “the use of advanced statistical algorithms” helped create the simulation.

In any case, it’s not a real tournament, but with March Madness canceled, this was the closest we could get to the real thing. Louisville won as a virtual No. 4 seed against the virtual No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks 74-69 for the virtual national title.

Virtual junior Jordan Nwora led the way with 17 points, virtual freshman David Johnson scored 11 points and virtual senior Dwayne Sutton added 10 points and six rebounds in the fictitious victory.

Shively Sporting Goods is selling a t-shirts in celebration of the victory.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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