March Madness 2012 Simulated: South Region

Hello everyone and WELCOME to the 4th annual “March Madness Simulated” series! Through the use of Whatifsports.com and just enough time in the day to actually do this, I will simulate the entire bracket from First Four to Final Four, complete with recaps and box scores (please note the box score is only available for about 2 days and then disappears). Every game is simulated once unless I’ve screwed up starting lineups by putting injured players in there. If the tournament is random, so shall simulations.This is a bit difficult because the First Four is tomorrow, but I’ve got that covered. Today we will look at the South Region, featuring Duke, Kentucky, Baylor, Indiana, and Notre Dame. Will the #1 overall seed prevail? Find out after the jump.

Play-In Game

#16 Mississippi Valley State vs. #16 Western Kentucky

Miss. Valley State spotted Western Kentucky the first 8 points of the game and found themselves down 21-6 early in the opening half. The Delta Devils closed the gap to 41-35 at halftime but never got any closer than that. A very uneventful game sees the Hilltoppers advance to play the Wildcats. Western Kentucky 65 Mississippi Valley State 53

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Second Round

#1 Kentucky vs. #16 Western Kentucky

Six Kentucky players scored in double-figure totals and despite the Hilltoppers’ best efforts, they never led and only managed to have a respectable score against the best team in the country. Kentucky 77 Western Kentucky 65

#8 Iowa State vs. #9 UConn

Free-throws and poor shooting in the 2nd half killed UConn’s hopes of another national title. The Huskies led the charge with an early 21-10 start but found themselves level at 33-33 at intermission. It looked like Jim Calhoun’s side would  pull away in the 2nd half, up 56-49 with 7:29 left in the game. Unfortunately for them, a 19-4 run by the Cyclones turned the tables and saw ISU pull away and guarantee ourselves a new national champion. The Huskies lost by 8, which is also the number of free throws out of 21 they ended up missing. Iowa State 76 UConn 68

#4 Indiana vs. #13 New Mexico State

Our first upset of the region saw the Hoosiers go down to the Aggies thanks to a late 2nd half surge and clutch free throw shooting by Daniel Mullings. The game was played at a breakneck pace and the Hoosiers had the upper hand at halftime, but NMSU rallied from 73-65 down and with :30 left Mullings broke a 79-79 making one free throw. He was called for FT duties again in the waning moments, calmly sinking both of his shots to give New Mexico State an 82-79 lead. Jordan Hulls’ chance to force OT was no good and the Aggies celebrated a stunning upset. New Mexico State 82 Indiana 79

#5 Wichita State vs. #12 Virginia Commonwealth

Another shocker, as the Shockers blew a 17 point lead and fell at the horn to last year’s Cinderella team, the VCU Rams. Wichita State led 28-11 right out of the gates and 42-31 at halftime, but VCU’s “never say die” attitude prevailed. Twice. With 12:14 left a Darius Theus lay-up gave the Rams a 56-55 advantage, and the two sides would trade basket after basket down to the wire. Troy Daniels nailed a jumper with :08 left to give VCU a 75-72 lead, but Ben Smith knocked down a cold-blooded triple at the buzzer to tie it at 75-75 and force overtime. Deflated, but not out of it, VCU kept it close despite their offensive struggles, but Theus was called for a foul away from the play with :06 left in the extra session, disqualifying him from the game. Garrett Stutz for Wichita State was fouled with :02 left, made the 2nd of two FTs to give the Shockers an 81-79 lead. Unbelievably, Troy Daniels came to the rescue again by heaving a long three-pointer from the left wing and SWISH! JUBILATION! VCU won it in overtime in what would probably be a modern-day classic in real life. VCU 82 Wichita State 81 (OT)

#3 Baylor vs. #14 South Dakota State

If only everyone else on the Jackrabbits had a game as productive as Nate Wolters (28 pts, 10-25 FGA, 6 rebounds). Too bad they didn’t. Their hopes for an upset after a 36-30 halftime lead were squashed as the Bears put up 48 points in the 2nd half and pulled away late. Baylor 78 South Dakota State 69

#6 UNLV vs. #11 Colorado

HOW ABOUT THAT PAC-12? The conference tournament champions also got a game-winning shot as time expired as Austin Dufault drained a pull-up jumper to upset the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV in a very competitive game in which neither team led by more than 8. Colorado 64 UNLV 63

#2 Duke vs. #15 Lehigh 

You cannot shot 37% and expect to beat Duke. A very predictable blowout from near start to finish. Duke 80 Lehigh 61

#7 Notre Dame vs. #10 Xavier

Xavier’s best efforts to rally from 56-35 down with 15 minutes left in the game were thwarted by a clutch Scott Martin three and then a perimeter shot with 1:20 left to put the game on ice. The Muskateers did cut their deficit to two but couldn’t contain Notre Dame’s potent offense long enough. Mike Brey’s side went 11-21 from 3-point land and advance. Notre Dame 79 Xavier 72

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Third Round

#1 Kentucky vs. #8 Iowa State

UPSET CITY! The Wildcats played sloppy basketball, saw Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist foul out, and struggled with ISU’s physicality, losing the rebound statistic 39-28. It was even at 38-38 after 20 minutes, but with 14 mins left and the Cyclones up 53-50, the Wildcats went on a 5 minute scoreless drought and found themselves shockingly down 68-50 and completely out of the contest. They managed some garbage points at the end but John Calipari sees himself out early after just two games. Iowa State 90 Kentucky 81

#12 Virginia Commonwealth vs. #13 New Mexico State

Troy Daniels, hero in the previous game against Wichita State, was the catalyst for the Rams’ blowout of New Mexico State. He nailed an astonishing 7 of 9 three-pointers and led all scorers with 23 points. This game had nary a semblance of competitiveness and VCU’s dream run continues. VCU 72 New Mexico State 57

#3 Baylor vs. #11 Colorado

Similar to the VCU/NMSU contest, Baylor simply dominated from start to finish. Colorado’s putrid offense managed just 20-52 made field goals. Baylor 72 Colorado 56

#2 Duke vs. #7 Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish pulled off the upset against the heavily favored Blue Devils in another thriller. After Miles Plumlee’s finger-roll gave Duke a 66-65 edge with 1:14 left, Notre Dame held Duke without a point the remainder of the game. Patrick Crowley’s triple gave ND the lead, but after Tom Daniels made only 2 game-clinching free throws with :07 left, it left the door open for Duke to force overtime, but Andre Dawkins’ three did not fall and down went the Blue Devils. Notre Dame 69 Duke 66

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Regional Semifinals

#8 Iowa State vs. #12 VCU

In an ugly, low-scoring game, the Cyclones continued their unlikely run in the NCAA tournament with a comfortable victory over the Rams. VCU were so bad offensively that they barely cracked 35% shooting from the floor and didn’t make a single free throw. Iowa State played a clean game and only registered 13 fouls the whole way as they advance to the South Final. Iowa State 61 VCU 47

#3 Baylor vs. #7 Notre Dame

Baylor made it an all-Big 12 final with a dominant 2nd half to knock off Notre Dame. The Bears took a 35-34 halftime score and blew the game open after the break and were up by as much as 20 before putting their foot off the pedal. Baylor 73 Iowa State 60

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Regional Final

#3 Baylor vs. #8 Iowa State

In a region filled with offensive ineptitude, Iowa State’s performance topped them all. A measly 15 point 2nd half capped off a miserable 17-54 shooting day, including just 2-19 from three-point range. Their bench also contributed a grand total of 5 pts to a lopsided display of basketball. Baylor meanwhile couldn’t miss from downtown, making 10 of 15 shots and stamping their ticket into the Final Four. Baylor 79 Iowa State 46

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Now please note, in the previous three years I’ve done this, only one team (2010 West Virginia) actually made the Final Four. The odds of Kentucky, Duke, and Indiana all going out before the Sweet 16 is pretty remote, but anything can happen.

NEXT REGION: West

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One thought on “March Madness 2012 Simulated: South Region

  1. Pingback: March Madness 2012 Simulated: Final Four and National Championship | Stupid Sideline Reporters

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