March Madness 2012 Simulated: East Region

Final region to simulate! So far, Baylor, Louisville, and Kansas have all made it to New Orleans. The East features Syracuse sans Fab Melo, so will they be able to defy odds after I’ve tinkered with their lineup to ensure he doesn’t play a second of any game? Or will Florida State or Ohio State wallop them? Heck, why wait for that when UNC-Asheville could provide the upset? Answers are after the jump. In the interest of time the recaps are going to be even shorter, especially the blowouts.


2nd Round

#1 Syracuse vs. #16 UNC-Asheville

No Melo? Problem. UNC-Asheville led by 6 early in the game and found themselves down just 2 at halftime. The Orange looked to be pulling away with a 52-42 advantage with over 15 minutes left, but the Bulldogs clawed their way back to pull within 73-71 with under 4 minutes. Their dreams of a famous upset were dashed though as Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph, and CJ Fair all came up clutch when they went to the free-throw line, and the Orange held off a very competitive UNC-Asheville. Syracuse 86 UNC-Asheville 77

#8 Kansas State vs. #9 Southern Miss

Maurice Bolden came up just short of forcing overtime for Southern Miss, and their 10 point rally also would not come to fruition as the Wildcats hold off their opponents to advance to the next round. Kansas State 72 Southern Miss 69

#5 Vanderbilt vs. #12 Harvard

Christian Webster came off the bench for the Crimson to lead his team with 18 points on 7-10 shooting, and was the model for Harvard’s game from start to finish. The team shot 51%, compared to Vandy’s 35%, and the Commodores once again find themselves on the wrong end of an upset. Harvard 68 Vanderbilt 56

#4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Montana

Wisconsin overcame a dreadful shooting performance (20-56) with an incredible 31-41 at the free throw line to pull out a thrilling overtime win over Montana. The Grizzlies will feel the need to complain to the NCAA over the FT disparity, as they were only given 19. Then again, when you only make 10, that’s your problem. Art Steward forced the extra session with a buzzer-beating jumpshot to climb out of an 8 point halftime hole. From there, it was all Wisconsin, holding Montana to just one field goal in OT and making their FTs and FGs en route to victory. Wisconsin 76 Montana 68 (OT)

#6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Texas

The Longhorns’ mission was to proved they belonged in this tournament, and they did so in emphatic fashion. Five players scored in double-figures and the team committed just 9 turnovers as they raced to a 13 point halftime lead and never looked back. Texas 78 Cincinnati 66

#3 Florida State vs. #14 St. Bonaventure

The Bonnies (seriously?) squandered a 14 point 2nd half but Charlon Kloof forced OT in the final half-minute at 56-56  to keep their hopes of an upset alive. They got off to an auspicious opening minute of OT with a 6-2 run to go up 62-58, but picked the worst possible time to be stuck at 62 the remainder of the night. Bernard James and Michael Snaer each poured in 4 pts of their own and Deiveidas Dulkys popped in a free-throw of his own to complete a 9-0 run to avoid the shock defeat and move on to the next round. Florida State 67 St. Bonaventure 62 (OT)

#7 Gonzaga vs. #10 West Virginia

In a virtual home game, the Mountaineers outplayed the Zags in the 2nd half to squash any hopes of Gonzaga’s typical run to the Sweet 16. West Virginia 71 Gonzaga 65

#2 Ohio State vs. #15 Loyold (MD)

No contest. Ohio State 75 Loyola (MD) 47



3rd Round

#1 Syracuse vs. #8 Kansas State

Rodney McGruder’s electrifying first-half performance looked to have put Syracuse out early. McGruder poured in 22 pts, only 9 less than Syracuse scored as a team after 20 minutes! Kansas State saw themselves up 46-31 and in prime position for an upset win. KSU would get the lead up to 18 multiple times but Syracuse slowly chipped away at that gigantic deficit. James Southerland knocked down a triple with 5:11 left to give ‘Cuse a 67-66 edge. The two teams would trade baskets until the very end. McGruder capped off his terrific 35 point output with a short jumper with :17 left, giving his team a 79-78 lead. But CJ Fair’s baseline jumper with :06 left stole the lead back for Syracuse, and Fair would end the game with a season-saving block on Jordan Henriquez’s shot as time expired. A remarkable comeback worthy of the game of the tournament. Syracuse 80 Kansas State 79

#4 Wisconsin vs. #12 Harvard

Harvard could not miss. Seriously they couldn’t. An amazing 61% from the field with 9 different players making at least half of their shots. Combine that with holding Wisconsin to just 22 rebounds and you’ve got yourself another upset. Oh, and Harvard went 10-14 from three-point land. How can you top that? Wisconsin never had a chance and just played a hot team at the wrong time. Harvard 78 Wisconsin 62

#3 Florida State vs. #11 Texas

Texas led the entire way and outrebounded the Seminoles 38-30, to go with their 8 three-pointers to FSU’s 4, and posted a very big upset over the ACC Tournament Champions. Texas 85 Florida State 70

#2 Ohio State vs. #10 West Virginia

William Buford’s only three-point try was the go-ahead basket for Ohio State with 1:19 to go in regulation in a fast-paced, high offensive output game. The stat lines were even and the final scoreline (dressed up with a meaningless West Virginia three at the buzzer) pretty much tell the whole story. The Mountaineers certainly gave the Buckeyes a scare. Ohio State 78 West Virginia 77


Regional Semifinals

#1 Syracuse vs. #12 Harvard

Laurent Rivard’s game-tying three pointer would not fall, and Baye Keita sealed the narrow escape for Jim Boeheim’s team with one free throw. A low-scoring affair but a very tight game all-around. Syracuse 61 Harvard 57

#2 Texas vs. #11 Ohio State

Jared Sullinger’s double-double (11 pts, 13 rebs) led the charge for the Buckeyes as they led wire-to-wire in a laugher over the Longhorns. Ohio State 68 Texas 43


Regional Final

#1 Syracuse vs. #2 Ohio State

Alas, Syracuse would run out of miracles at the final hurdle. Jared Sullinger almost had more rebounds than Syracuse with 17 (the Orange had 18!), which was a huge reason Ohio State was up 12 at halftime and 15 at their largest.  The Buckeyes finished the game with a +23 rebounding advantage. Syracuse attempted another comeback similar to their Kansas State efforts, and pulled to within 74-72 in the closing stages of the 2nd half. A Jordan Sibert jumper with :15 on the clock would dash all hopes of another late-game rally, and Ohio State is your final team into the Final Four! Ohio State 77 Syracuse 72


Your Final Four: Baylor vs. Louisville and Ohio State vs. Kansas

These games have already been simulated but I will post them tomorrow morning just before the first window of games begins for the real thing.

NEXT UP: Final Four + National Championship


One thought on “March Madness 2012 Simulated: East Region

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

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