The actual West region was 100% chalk for the opening round. Not a single “lower seed” won a game so that means this is by default the weakest region of BOTL. Justin F simulated this region and you can find out the results after the jump….
- #1 Tennessee vs. #8 Hampton
- Despite playing very well in the first half and going into the locker room tied at 37, Hampton could not keep it up for an entire basketball game, and Tennessee ran away with it in the second half. The Vols got crucial points from their bench, something that Hampton could not equal them in.
- Tennessee 72, Hampton 63
- #4 Memphis vs. #5 Oakland
- An entertaining and close first half ended on a 7-1 Memphis over the last 3:53 to tie the game at 35 going into the locker room. But despite that momentum boosting run to head into the locker room, Memphis were not able to outplay Oakland in the second half who jumped out to a quick 7-point lead that turned into a 9-point lead, and a lead that despite multiple attempts, Memphis would not touch. It was a close and entertaining game, but in the end, Memphis could not outshoot Oakland, who made a ridiculous 55% of their field goals. Oakland 80, Memphis 73
- #2 Penn State vs. #7 Northern Colorado
- Cinderella is from Greeley, Colorado! The Bears of Northern Colorado laid down a good ole fashioned butt whooping on Penn State. Talor Battle shot a respectable 6-11 from the field with three 3-pointers, but with little production from the rest of the team, the Nittany Lions had no hope against a Northern Colorado team shooting 50% from the field and 10 for 18 from beyond the arc. Northern Colorado 75, Penn State 58
- #3 Missouri vs. #6 Bucknell
- The Bucknell Bison, most famous for their NCAA Tournament win against Kansas several years ago came in determined to defeat Missouri. The Bison shot 51% from the field including 61.5% from beyond the arc, but they lacked two key aspects of their game: rebounding and free-throwing. The Bison were a paltry 13-23 from the charity stripe and Missouri outrebounded them 41-21 which led to more Missouri shots, 2nd chance Missouri points, and a convincing win on the final scoreboard. Missouri 86, Bucknell 71
- #1 Tennessee vs. #5 Oakland
- The Tennessee Volunteers opened the game on a 17-5 run and looked to be in firm control during the first half. But Oakland slowly crawled their way back into the game, down only 7 at the break. In the 2nd half, the Golden Grizzlies would continue their fight back and would eventually take the lead. But unfortunately for the upset-minded Oakland squad, Tennessee would re-assert their authority. Tatum connected with a dagger three to make it 81-69 with 1:45 left in the game. Oakland would not get another point the rest of the game. Tennessee 82, Oakland 69
- #3 Missouri vs. #7 Northern Colorado
- Northern Colorado came into this one a mission to pull off yet another BOTL upset, and they wasted no time going up 3-0 with a Lloyd 3-pointer 16 seconds in. A back and forth first half ensued with Missouri ultimately taking a 37-32 lead into the locker room. The second half featured much of the same with both sides holding numerous leads in a very dramatic basketball game, something this region has solely lacked up to this point. With 5:27 left and Northern Colorado up 55-53, the Bears went on a 9-2 run in a minute and a half to give them a 9-point lead with 4 minutes left. Would they hang on? Not if Missouri has an answer! Back-to-back 3-pointers got the Tigers back within 3 with 3:03 left and Dixon would eventually pull them within 1 with 2:05 left. But Northern Colorado would connect with a drive to the rim to go up 3. A Mike Proctor FT with 18 seconds left put the Bears up 67-63! Could it be? 10 seconds left! ENGLISH FOR 3 AND THE TIGERS ARE WITHIN 1! They foul Kingman with 6 seconds left. He makes the first. MISSES THE SECOND! REBOUND BOWERS! 5 SECONDS LEFT! BOWERS IS GOING TO TAKE IT HIMSELF! FOR THE TIE AT THE BUZZER……YES!!! OVERTIME! 68-68! Overtime featured much of the same exciting back and forth action this game had been accustomed to. Both teams held the lead for a portion of the period. 74-73 Missouri with 1:55 left and Beitzel buries a 3! Northern Colorado by 2! Denmon goes 1 of 2 from the line. 76-75 Northern Colorado. Montgomery for 3 with 1:21 left…No! Rebound Missouri. Denmon for 3…Yes! With 1:06 left! Beitzel the other end…..oh the bank is open! We are tied at 78! Bowers at the other end….and the bank is still open! Missouri by 2! What action! 22 seconds left. 80-78 Missouri. Kaba with a long jumper…No! rebound Missouri and Denmon is fouled. Makes the first, misses the 2nd! Rebound Northern Colorado! 14 seconds left KABA FOR THREE AND THE TIE…..NO! REBOUND MISSOURI AND A FOUL WITH 9 SECONDS LEFT! Bowers misses the first FT! And the 2nd! Rebound Northern Colorado! The Bears still have a chance! 8 seconds left! 5! 4! LLOYD TO TIE THE GAME WITH A 3…..OH IT’S A TERRIBLE MISS AND THE REBOUND IS CORRALLED BY JUSTIN SAFFORD FOR MISSOURI! FOUL WITH LESS THAN A SECOND LEFT! Safford ices it by connecting on both free throws, and Missouri survives a thriller in overtime. Missouri 83, Northern Colorado 78
- #1 Tennessee vs. #3 Missouri
- Both teams made their first three baskets in this one, but from there, Missouri would jump out to a 5-point lead. Although it was never more than 5, Missouri looked perched to go into the locker room with that lead still in tact, but at the buzzer Tatum drilled a three and Tennessee was up 36-35 at the break. Missouri would not be fazed by that, though. They would eventually get a 4-point lead, 50-46 with 10:50 left. But that is when things began to come unglued for the Tigers. A 18-7 run over the next 8 minutes and 10 seconds to put Missouri up 64-57 with 2:40 left appeared to end Missouri’s hopes of a BOTL Final Four berth, but wait! A couple of free throws and a Denmon 3 and it is a 2-point game with 2:16 left! Fields is fouled and he makes both FTs. 66-62 Tennessee. 2:07 left. Does Missouri have it left? STEAL! AND MIZZOU FOULS FIELDS WITH 1:42 LEFT! He makes both. 6-point game with 1:42 left. Dixon for 3….No! Rebound Golden with 1:21 left. Golden shoots a 3…ONIONS! WITH 1:13 LEFT! TENNESSEE BY NINE! A missed 3 by Missouri follows with a Tatum rebound! Harris connects with a jumper! Dixon misses a desperation shot with 24 seconds left! Harris wins the rebound, Missouri won’t foul AND THAT’S IT! TENNESSEE IS GOING TO THE BOTL FINAL FOUR FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! Tennessee 73, Missouri 62
- Tennessee? Really? How do they win these simulations all the time? If you recall they somehow made the Final Four in March Madness Simulated and in reality they were crushed by Michigan.
- NEXT REGION: Southeast