We’re down to our Final Four and this year it’s all about the #1 seeds. Only Duke was unable to reach this round whilst Kansas, OSU, and Pitt are all in Houston. #9 seeded Tennessee is representing people who like the color orange as the other semifinalist. Justin F. has graciously done Kansas vs. Pitt for us and I’ll have the other semi in this same post…..after the jump!
#1 Pittsburgh vs. #1 Kansas
The game started out a back and forth affair with the teams exchanging leads in the first 8 minutes of the game. Kansas would then proceed to get ahead and go on an 11-1 run to give them a 22-14 lead with 8:34 left in the first half. Despite many attempts to cut into that lead, Pittsburgh was never able to get within 6 in the first half. Halftime score: Kansas 42, Pittsburgh 31. Would things turn around in the second half? The Panthers tried to scratch their way back in the game multiple times, but each time Pittsburgh made a dent in the lead, Kansas would instantly respond and re-extend their lead. The closest Pittsburgh ever managed to get was within 7 points and in the end, Kansas hung on and advanced to the National Championship game! The Jayhawks shot 54.1% and while Pittsburgh shot a reasonable 42.4%, they made 8 less field goals than the Jayhawks and never truly threatened Kansas. Kansas 81 Pittsburgh 71
#1 Ohio State vs. #9 Tennessee
The Vols looked to shock the world in the other semifinal and they got off to an early 11-4 start. They knocked down 6 of their opening 10 shots from the field and were up 19-16 when the Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run to take some control in this contest. Ohio State’s excellent three-point shooting was illustrated perfectly with a Deshaun Thomas triple to end the half at OSU 38 Tennessee 30. Like so many games in this simulated tournament, the 2nd half was a rout. Thad Matta’s squad jumped all over Tennessee, scoring the opening 6 points and never letting the Vols get within single digits again. Ohio State went 10-17 from deep and had just 10 turnovers as they face Kansas in the final. Ohio State 77 Tennessee 60
The fact that all of these blowouts are occurring really convinces you we don’t simulate these things over and over again until we get a relatively close/entertaining game. Next post will have the conclusion of this puppy with Ohio State squaring off against Kansas.