What would happen if the NBA playoffs functioned like March Madness?

Davidson v Kansas
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With the month of March now entering the scene, the NBA season is officially in the home stretch, as teams try to vie for better seeding, jockey for tiebreakers and better matchups, and avoid injuries before the playoffs begin. Also coming up very soon, is one of the few events that outshines the NBA following the Super Bowl, March Madness.

Even if just for a few weeks, college basketball gets its turn in the mega-spotlight and 68 college teams battle it out in a single-elimination, intensely entertaining, bracketology-filled, Cinderella-storied, tournament that millions look forward to every year. This begs the question: What would the 2024 NBA playoffs look like if they functioned like March Madness?

For this experiment, Hoops Habit has created a 32-team single-elimination bracket with as close to the NCAA Tournament structure as possible, down to the bracketology aspect. An important note is that the committee has based their seeding off of the NBA standings through the month of February. Much like in March Madness, there will be four regions: the East, Midwest, South, and West.

To decide which teams will win in each round and advance, we will use RNG (Random Number Generator) to help decide randomly, but in a structured fashion, about which lower seeds get to have a Cinderella story and which top seeds eventually get upset. Much like the real madness of March, there will be a set number of top seeds that get eliminated and a set number of upsets that are forced to happen to keep it as close to the NCAA Tournament as possible.

Without further adieu, let’s get to some NBA bracketology!