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With one BOTL team already punching its ticket to the Final Four in Detroit, we look who will be the winner of the Midwest part of the bracket. The results are after the jump.
#1 (overall seed) Wake Forest vs. #8 Morehead State
A no-contest for the Demon Deacons. The favorites to win it all shot an astonishing 57% from the floor en route to a 74-56 romp over the Eagles. Jeff Teague scored 23 points to lead all scorers. The free throw shooting in this game was appalling though, with a combined 21-45 put up at the stripe.
#4 Boston College vs. #5 Ohio State
When the matchups were first released this looked to be the most high profile game of the first round. While it was still a high profile game, it ended up being a blowout. Once again Ohio State’s inept shooting (39.6%) thwarted them in a 68-55 drubbing at the hands of the Eagles. It wasn’t even that close, as BC led by 19 at one point before putting in the benchwarmers.
#2 Utah vs. #7 Robert Morris
An evenly played first half?! Robert Morris winning 32-31 at the break? Could we see another #7 beat a #2? Not on your life. Utah was up by as many as 20 points in the 2nd half and won 76-62.
#3 West Virginia vs. #6 North Dakota State
It was the Ben Woodside show in Minneapolis. The star point guard for the Bison scored 24 points on 8-18 shooting and hit 7-8 from the foul line. Unfortunately their assist-to-turnover ratio (13 assists to 12 turnovers) was brutal and their bench put up only 6 points. The Mountaineers fell behind early 5-0, but once they took the lead with 16:37 left in the 1st half they were never threatened. A 72-61 win for West Virginia in yet another dull affair in the Midwest region.
#1 Wake Forest vs. #4 Boston College
The Demon Deacons put on a very impressive show in this one. They played at a fast pace and were up 50-28 at the half. This game was a laugher, and they pulled out a 78-64 blowout of Boston College.
#2 Utah vs. #3 West Virginia
Can we get ONE close game? I’m seriously simulating these in one shot and every game has been a blowout or a game in which the winning team is leading comfortably but not routing the other team. This game is as close as we’ve gotten in all honesty. The Mountaineers’ 10 point lead dwindled down to 55-53 with 8:33 left in the game. Not to worry, as Bob Huggins’ team went on an 8-0 run in the next 4 minutes and pulled away. West Virginia 72 Utah 61
#1 Wake Forest vs. #3 West Virginia
It was a furious first half of action for both teams. Basket after basket traded on the court at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It was reminiscent of that double OT classic back in 2005 between these two in the 2nd round. Wake Forest took a 46-43 lead into the locker room. Naturally though, that quick pace could not be maintained out of the break. It was West Virginia though that took the lead and built it to 7 with under 8:00 to play. The Demon Deacons stormed back behind Jeff Teague to make for a nailbiting finish. The score 75-72 West Virginia with :24 left. It’s GUS TIME!!!
“Teague brings the ball down the court. PUTS UP THE THREE!!! NO!!! REBOUND JAMES JOHNSON!!! TEAGUE PUTS UP ANOTHER ONE!!!!! OFF THE MARK!! REBOUND DESEAN BUTLER AND THEY GET IT OUT TO DARRYL BRYANT AND HE IS FOULED WITH :04 TO GO!!! HEARTBREAK CITY FOR WAKE FOREST!”
“A two shot foul for Bryant. HE HITS THE FIRST!!! THAT WILL DO IT!!! He misses the 2nd as Johnson hoists up the 75 foot bomb….no good! THAT IS IT!!! WEST VIRGINIA HAS KNOCKED OUT THE TOURNAMENT FAVORITES 76-72 IN INDIANAPOLIS!!!”
It was a dull dull dull dull dull region in terms of game quality, but it was saved up for an exciting regional final. Well done to Bob Huggins and his squad.
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS – MIDWEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONS
So far Minnesota and West Virginia, both #3 seeds who knocked off #1 seeds, are in the national semifinals. Things are looking up if you’re Butler and Utah State, while Illinois and Cal are a little nervous of the competition.
Up Next: South Region