Battle of the Losers 2010: West Region

Sorry for the delay, but it’s complete! Texas is through from the East, what will the West bring? Find out after the jump.

First Round

#1 Vanderbilt vs. #8 Vermont

The Catamounts never led in this one. There was a close moment where Vermont did cut a 35-22 deficit to 43-37, but Vanderbilt responded with a 15-4 run and blew their opponents out. Vanderbilt 75 Vermont 62

#4 Minnesota vs. #5 UTEP

Minny led 37-29 at the half, and then put their foot on the gas pedal in the 2nd by outscoring the Miners 44-27 to stroll to an easy victory. As a team the Golden Gophers shot 52.5% from the field and three players scored in double figures. Minnesota 81 UTEP 56

#3 Florida vs. #6 Oakland

Hey look! Another blowout! Oakland was down 17 at halftime and lost by 11 but scored plenty of garbage points in the final minutes of this snoozer. An interesting point of note, Oakland missed 11 free throws, which coincidentally was their margin of defeat. Florida 77 Oakland 66

#2 Florida State vs. #7 North Texas

At long last we have a close game. FSU only led 30-28 against the Mean Green but the game exploded to life after the break. North Texas looked poised for the upset when they tied the game at 48-48 at the 11:59 mark. It was not to be however because the Seminoles made an astonishing 10-11 field goals over the ensuing 4 minutes to take a 70-59 lead and they were never threatened afterwards. Solomon Alabi’s shooting was fantastic, making 10-14 from the field for a game high 21 points. Florida State 83 North Texas 74

Second Round

#1 Vanderbilt vs. #4 Minnesota

Hardly a dream start for Vanderbilt, going down 7-0 in the early stages.  Vandy did storm back and went into the break up by one at intermission. Minnesota would not be denied the chance to defend their BOTL title and rallied themselves to take a 74-66 lead with 2:06 to go. The Commodores went on a 6-1 run and after a Jeffery Taylor steal with :11 to go they had a chance for the tie…..

“TAYLOR PASSES IT TO ANDRE WALKER! WALKER FOR THE TIE!!! WAY OFF THE MARK! REBOUND BY DAMIAN JOHNSON!!! MINNESOTA RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK AND NOW THEY FOUL WITH :01 TO GO!”

Minnesota hit one free throw and that would seal it. Minnesota 76 Vanderbilt 72

#2 Florida State vs. #3 Florida

The Gators fell flat on their faces in the opening few minutes and were behind 9-0. Billy Donovan’s side recovered well from the early punching barrage and even led late in the first half at 29-28 before FSU closed out the half up 33-29. Once again Florida looked to be on the ropes after trailing by 12 with 10:29 left in the game, but they would not lie down against their fierce rivals. Just :10 to go, Chris Singleton missed his 2nd free throw and the Gators had a chance to tie….

“OFF THE MARK! REBOUND VERNON MACKLIN!!! NINE SECONDS LEFT!!!! TIME RUNNING SHORT! MACKLIN FOR THE TIE!!!! AND NO GOOD!!! IT’S OVER!!! FLORIDA STATE WINS!!!” Florida State 67 Florida 64

West Final

#2 Florida State vs. #4 Minnesota

The Golden Gophers led by 6 at the break but the game remained close throughout, with neither side breaking into a double digit lead. Minnesota would be up by as many as 8, and with the score 53-45 with 10:11 to go…..they completely collapsed. Florida State went on a 16-5 run to go up by 3. Derwin Kitchen’s dagger jumper with under a minute remaining in regulation but the Seminoles up by 8 and they took advantage of a horrific final 10 minutes from Tubby Smith’s team. There will be no repeat, and the Seminoles get revenge after being knocked out by MInnesota in last year’s BOTL Regional Final. Florida State 72 Minnesota 65

The defending champions are out. Florida State and Texas are into the BOTL Final Four. Congratulations to the Seminoles.

Next region: Midwest

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