A nifty tournament I'm running and all of this work was first posted on Stupid Sideline Reporters.
Haha, you thought this would be an actual event held by FOX or something? Nah….instead, this will be a fun little tournament I’ve created which pits the losers of this year’s NCAA March Madness against each other. The process for this was quite simple, take all of the teams that lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and there is your field of 32. Here’s what I’m talking about:
(16) Mt. St Marys vs. (8) Indiana
(12) George Mason vs. (13) Winthrop
(11) St. Josephs vs. (14) Boise State
(10) South Alabama vs. (15) American
(16) Portland State vs. (9) Kent State
(5) Clemson vs. (4) Vanderbilt
(6) USC vs. (14) Cal-State Fullerton
(7) Gonzaga vs. (15) UMBC
(16) UT-Arlington vs. (9) Oregon
(12) Temple vs. (13) Oral Roberts
(11) Kentucky vs. (14) Cornell
(10) St. Mary’s vs. (15) Austin Peay
(16) Mississippi Valley State vs. (8) BYU
(5) Drake vs. (4) UConn
(11) Baylor vs. (14) Georgia
(10) Arizona vs. (15) Belmont
So using Whatifsports.com I’ll simulate all of these games and see who is the best loser of this tournament. I’ll post the results of the East region a little bit later. Ladies and gentlemen, this is April…something or the other.
East Region Results
(8) Indiana 83 (16) Mt. St. Mary’s 67
After the Mountaineers hung around for most of the game and was within 47-41 with 15:40 left in the game. But too much JaMarcus Ellis and DJ White sealed the deal for the Hoosiers, who went on a 10-0 run afterwards that effectively ended it.
(13) Winthrop 79 (12) George Mason 69 OT
A classic back and forth affair saw #13 seed Winthrop pull away in overtime against the Cinderella team of 2006. The first half saw neither team lead by more than 6, and Winthrop had a 30-24 lead at halftime. In the closing seconds of regulation with the Patriots up 59-57, Mantoris Robinson hit the game tying jumper with :28 left to force OT. Winthrop pulled away and hit their free throws in the end and outscored George Mason 20-10 in the extra session to advance to the sweet 16.
( 10) South Alabama 72 (15) American 62
(14) Boise State 85 (11) St. Joseph’s 82 OT
Another thriller as the Broncos upset the Hawks in a classic. It looked like Boise State would cruise as they never trailed in the first half and had a comfortable 30-21 lead, holding Pat Calathes to two points. The lead would expand even more as it was 53-37 with 8:49 left. A courageous effort by St. Joseph’s but still down 71-65 with just :19 left. However, Rob Ferguson, who was instrumental in their comeback, hit a three to cut the lead in half with :09 left. The quick foul with :06 let saw Matt Bauscher given an opportunity to salt away the victory. He missed both, and with no timeouts, St. Joes need a three to tie…and AHMAD NEVINS TIES IT WITH NO TIME LEFT!!! OT!!! Most of the points in OT for both teams came from the line, and somehow someway Boise State still did not trail.
Not done yet, Ferguson hits another three with :08 left to cut it to 83-82. Matt Nelson calmly hit both FTs and Darrin Govens could not force double OT and that is your ball game.
So here are your matchups for the sweet 16 in Charlotte:
(8) Indiana vs. (13) Winthrop
(10) South Alabama vs. (14) Boise State
Can Gonzaga get revenge in the BOTL and beat UMBC? Will USC beat Cal-State Fullerton in the all state matchup? Will Clemson and Vanderbilt promise to be an exciting one? Could Portland State shock Kent State? Let’s find out:
(4) Vanderbilt 86 (5) Clemson 76
A relatively easy win for the Commodores as Clemson goes 8-18 from the free throw line and the Tigers never led after scoring the first 2 of the game. Shan Foster went 12-18 for 32 points and also snagged 6 rebounds as Vandy moves on to the sweet 16.
(16) Portland State 74 (9) Kent State 71
The upset of the tournament so far has occurred as a #16 seed finally wins one. The Vikings dominated the Golden Flashes for much of the game, leading by 10 at halftime and then the lead grew to 69-52 with 5:52 left in the game. Not to be denied, Kent State went on an 8-0 run to cut it to a 69-60 game with 3:43 left, but Jeremiah Dominguez hit a huge three shortly thereafter and it was back up to 12.
Next thing you know, Kent State scores the next 9 and it’s 72-69 with 1:06 left. The chance to see a #16 seed win for the first time could slip away. Deonte Huff scored on the layup for PSU to put it up to 74-69, and giving him 24 points on 10-12 shooting. Haminn Quaintance scored at the other hand for the Golden Flashes but they could not foul in the final seconds of the game and it is over! The upset has happened!
(6) USC 80 (14) Cal-State Fullerton 76
The Trojans were trailing at halftime but free throws in the end helped them stave off the upset against the Titans. A very highly contested first half saw both sides going back and forth and neither of them gained a big advantage, the largest lead being CS Fullerton by 5. Closing moments of the half had OJ Mayo score the go ahead bucket to make it 38-36, but the Titans had the momentum heading into the 2nd half with a huge three ball from Junior Russell.
In the 2nd half with the game tied at 67-67, OJ Mayo and Davon Jefferson took over down the stretch and eventually USC built a 79-69 lead with only 1:21 left. Not so fast my friend, CS Fullerton fought back, and Marcus Crenshaw reeled off the next 7 points of the game and cut it to 79-76 with :13 left. Unfortunately for the Titans, Daniel Hackett made the front end of the one and one to seal it for the Trojans, who advance to face the winner of Gonzaga/UMBC.
(7) Gonzaga 84 (15) UMBC 75
The Bulldogs were down by as many as 14 in the first half, and the Retrievers scored the first 12 points of the game. However the Zags cut the lead to 3 by halftime and outscored UMBC 46-34 in the 2nd half and won it 84-75 to survive their upset.
After Gonzaga rallied to cut the lead to 3 at halftime at 41-38, UMBC flattened their chances of winning again, going on a 14-2 run to start the 2nd half for their largest lead of the game at 55-40 with 15:36 left in the game. Austin Daye and Steven Gray had something to say about that. They started chipping away at the Retrievers’ lead, and cut it to 61-52 with 11:20 left. Then a furious run by the Zags once more with Matt Bouldin, David Pendergraft, and everyone else chipping in to take a stunning 65-63 advantage with 7:12 left, their first lead of the game. Both sides would trade basket for basket before Gonzaga pulled away late and will face USC in the next round.
Sweet 16 matchups for the Midwest Region:
(4) Vanderbilt vs. (16) Portland State
(6) USC vs. (7) Gonzaga
Only 2 more regions to complete before our final 16 teams have emerged from the field of 32. We’ll go to the South Region either later today or tomorrow, and the West Region later today as well.