March Madness 2020 simulation: Seton Hall tops Louisville to reach Final Four

March Madness lives on. Following the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, The Post projected the final bracket and will spend the rest of the week presenting round-by-round results produced via online simulation, thanks to our friends at

This won’t make it easier. Not for Myles Powell. Not for Kevin Willard. Not for Seton Hall and its fans.

The what-ifs will never end. The what-could’ve-beens will never go away. There always will be a sense that a magical March was taken away from this group. At least, an opportunity for one was.

This would’ve been so much more than just a memorable regular season — Seton Hall earned a share of the Big East title for the first time since 1992-93 — according to The Post’s NCAA Tournament simulation. It would’ve been more than the school’s first run to the Sweet 16 since 2000, more than a trip to the Elite Eight.

Third-seeded Seton Hall — the South Orange, N.J., Catholic university whose basketball program was irrelevant until the last half-decade — is headed to the Final Four, after a heart-pounding South Regional final victory over No. 4 Louisville, 82-75 in Houston that saw the Pirates score the game’s final 12 points to reach the season’s final weekend for the first time since coming a point shy of winning it all in 1989.

Seton Hall, which will meet No. 4 Oregon in a national semifinal, gave its fans plenty of heart palpitations on the way there, as is its way. The Pirates trailed 8-0 and 14-3. They were down five with under three minutes remaining. But this team was always at its best when its back was against the wall. It made coming from behind at halftime an art form — highlighted by rallies against DePaul, Villanova, Butler (twice) and St. John’s.

The Pirates, and in particular senior point guard Quincy McKnight, saved their best for last in this back-and-forth affair, in which each team led by as many as nine. McKnight, the team’s overlooked heart and soul, scored seven of his 20 points in the final 2:14. His 3-pointer with 42 seconds left gave Seton Hall the lead for good, and following a Jordan Nwora miss, he followed with two more free throws after a Louisville miss to help ice the classic Elite Eight game.

Powell had a team-high 21 points, five rebounds and six assists, and fellow senior Romaro Gill owned the paint with seven points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. When it mattered most, Seton Hall’s defense was at its best, holding the Cardinals without a point over the final 2:59 and forcing two turnovers, both Powell steals.

This group has been compared to the 1992-93 team. The Pirates had a superstar guard in Powell like that team (Terry Dehere), balance, size and depth, and finished at the top of the league. But that 1992-93 team fell short in March, losing in the second round as a No. 2 seed to Western Kentucky. This team, instead, would’ve drawn different comparisons, to the 1988-89 unit that reached the national final, had the Tournament played out like our simulation.

Seton Hall may have embarked on a March journey fans have been waiting for since that cursed 1989 final, when official John Clougherty’s questionable foul call led to Rumeal Robinson’s game-winning free throws for Michgan with three seconds left.

Of course, we’ll never know.

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