Simulation: Spiders defeat Bruins in battle of 11-seeds in the 2020 NCAA Tournament

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Richmond Spiders defeated the UCLA Bruins in this simulated battle of 11-seeds in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The Spiders won 72-67 in the contest.

Now, with the virtual win, the Spiders advance to play the No. 6 Iowa Hawkeyes. With the loss, the Bruins season came to an end,

Richmond Spiders guard Blake Francis playing against the VCU Rams
Blake Francis playing against the VCU Rams (Photo by the Richmond Spiders Athletic Department)

The virtual win gave the Spiders a 25-7 record. This virtual win gave them a five-game win streak, including 11-5 road record.

The virtual loss dropped the Bruins to a two-game losing streak. They also lost to the USC Trojans on March 7th before the sports world was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The last time this game was actually close was when the game was tied at 25 all when Cody Riley made a two-point basket.

Richmond then went on a 4-0 run to lead 29-25 following Nathan Cayo’s free throws. The Spiders led throughout the rest of the game.

Late in the contest, the Spiders led by 16 points when Jacob Gilyard made a free throw to go up 67-51. The Bruins then cut the lead to 67-57, before Blake Francis made a three-point basket for a 70-57 lead.

UCLA scored 10 points over the course of the rest of the game. Francis made back-to-back free throws for their final two points of the game.

Francis led the Spiders with 18 points. He also had one rebound, one assist, and two steals.

Every game except one has Francis scored more than double-digits, even in this virtual game. The game he did not score double-figures was against the Auburn Tigers when he scored seven points.

Nick Sherod and Grant Golden also contributed 13 points each. Cayo added 10 points.

Chris Smith led the Bruins with 14 points. He also had seven rebounds.

With this virtual game, Smith has scored double-digits in his last three games. He also had 12 points against the Trojans on March 7th and 17 against the Arizona Wildcats on March 29th.

Riley contributed 12 points. Jaime Jaquez Jr. also added 10 points.

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