With the help of Mookie from Stupid Sideline Reporters, we have simulated the entire NCAA Simulation using WhatIfSports. These will be simulpost on both of our sites with the East and Midwest Regions being reavled tomorrow and the South and West Regions being revealed tomorrow with the Final Four and National Championship being posted before the real fun begins. We've written recaps so you can read a short summary of what happened and in case of dramatic endings, it will be just like having Gus Johnson call the games! (Hey, we try!) So now, without further ado, the East Region of the NCAA Tournament!
#1 Pitt vs. #16 ETSU
From Dayton, Ohio, it’s #1 Pitt against #16 East Tennessee State. The first half was actually fairly close. Everything that Pitt dished out, ETSU had an answer for and at halftime it’s a 5-point game, 34-29 Pitt. However, the 2nd half is a different story. Smith hits a 3 and ETSU has a lead 4-minutes into the 2nd half! ETSU continues to hang tough, surviving a run from Pitt that gave them back the lead. Will this be the biggest upset in tourney history? No. ETSU continued to hang tough, and were even with in 4 with 4:18 to go, but in the end, Pitt was just too much and they pulled away for a 77-64 final score.
#8 Oklahoma State vs. #9 Tennessee
From Dayton, a typical 8-9 back and forth battle in the first half, with Oklahoma State taking a 37-32 lead into halftime. The second half would be just as exciting. Okie State would extend the lead to 8 early on in the second half and survive numerous runs from the Vols to keep the lead up until 2:16 to go when buried a driving attempt from the paint to give the Vols the 71-70 lead! The Cowboys would take the lead back with a freebies! Back and forth. Smith a jumper for Tennessee with 48 seconds left! Eaton a jumper for the Cowboys with 27 seconds left for the Cowboys! Last chance for Tennessee…..3 SECONDS LEFT!....SMITH FOR THE WIN!......NOOO!!!!!! COWBOYS WIN!
#5 Florida State vs. #12 Wisconsin
From Boise. Another close game. However, it was very Big 10ish. The only drama in the first half came as the Noles hit a buzzer beater to tie the game at 28 at halftime (don’t be deceived by the score, I’m pretty sure more points were scored in the last 2 mintues of that half than the rest of the half. Yawn). FSU would take a 9-point lead midway through the half and would survive a late Wisconsin run to win 62-58. Don’t be deceived by the score, though, there was little drama in this game and the majority of it was played at a snail’s pace.
#4 Xavier vs. #13 Portland State
A tale of two halves in Boise. Portland State jumped out to a 13-3 lead and had a 10-point lead even at 25-15, however, Xavier roared back. They pulled within 5 before halftime and in the second half, they blew Portland State out of the water who could not keep it up for 40 minutes of hoops. 70-60 the final in this one.
#6 UCLA vs. #11 VCU
Philadelphia. And we have our first upset of the tournament! Virginia Commonwealth beat UCLA. Actually, scratch that, they did not beat them, they mopped the floor with them. UCLA had the lead for the first half of the first half, but after that, VCU took the lead and they never looked back, beating the Bruins 73-59.
#3 Villanova vs. #14 American
American University was close to a big upset last year, and they showed that it was no fluke! They jumped out to a 10-6 lead and were either ahead or tied for most of the half. 24-24 at halftime and my Wildcats are in trouble! The second half does not fare much better for the Wildcats, even though they led for most of the 2nd half. It was not by much and American tied it at 51 with 1:14 to go! My Wildcats…..THIS IS NOT GOOD! Anderson gives them the lead by connecting 2 freebies. A 3-second violation on Simon of American and FISHER MAKES THE JUMPER WITH 32 SECONDS LEFT TO PUT THE WILDCATS UP BY 4! American would not come closer for the rest of the game and the Wildcats, somehow survived, beating American 57-51. Phew!
#7 Texas vs. #10 Minnesota
HISTORY IN GREENSBORO!! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A BIG 10 ACTUALLY BLEW SOMEBODY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! Minnesota absolutely killed Texas, 74-56. It was ugly.
#2 Duke vs. #15 Binghamton
Greensboro, NC was the site of yet another blow out in the East Region. As expected (although not by me) the Dukies thoroughly routed Binghamton, never trailing, as they beat up on them by a final score of 78-61.
#1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 Oklahoma State
A good one in Dayton. Back and forth battle in the first half that consisted of the largest lead being 6 for Okie St., however by halftime it was only a one point game. And the 2nd half is just as exciting! This time however the Cowboys would find themselves with a 8-point lead with 2:15 to go. However the Pitt Panthers would battle back. What a finish this one was. Having pulled to within 4 with jumpers and free throws, DIXON MADE A 3-POINT SHOT TO PULL PITT WITHIN 1 WITH 42 SECONDS LEFT! And here we go from Dayton! 15 seconds left, Eaton misses a step back jumper for the Cowboys! BLAIR GETS THE REBOUND! 14 SECONDS LEFT! COWBOYS LEAD BY 1! PITT WITH THE BALL! They let some clock run….5 SECONDS LEFT….FIELDS THE DRIVE…..NO GOOD!!!! REBOUND OKLAHOMA STATE! THERE’S THE BUZZER! COWBOYS UPSET #1! 73-72! UNBELIEVEABLE!
#5 Florida State vs. #4 Xavier
Somebody apparently forgot to tell Xavier that they were on the decline and that they were supposed to suck this tournament. Xavier had the lead for most of the game and while Florida State often battled back and was close for parts in the 2nd half they were never able to catch them and the game never felt like that they would. What was a 33-29 halftime lead for the Musketeers exploded into a 72-59 game by the end of it all, sending Xavier into the Sweet Sixteen to play Oklahoma State.
#3 Villanova vs. #11 VCU
A back and forth first half from the Wachovia Center saw VCU leading by 3 right before the half ended. That is when MAYNOR SUNK A 3 AT THE BUZZER! VCU 36-31 at halftime. That was not the end of the game though, Reynolds gave Villanova the lead with 6:22 to go! 58-57 Villanova led then. However on the ensuing possession a 3 by Rodriguez gave VCU the lead right back and that drained all of the air right out of Villanova! VCU went on to dominate the 3 seeded Wildcats from that point on and it was indeed upset city in Philadelphia! 75-66 VCU advances to the Sweet Sixteen over the heavily favored Wildcats!
#2 Duke vs. #10 Minnesota
There is a reason why the Big 10 has a bad reputation and this game is it. Duke took control of the game early and often, building up an 8-point lead at the half. And while the scoring was fairly even in the second half, Minnesota never came close to challenging Duke’s lead, losing 73-64 to the Blue Devils in a game that was a seemingly bigger blowout than the score indicated.
#4 Xavier vs. #8 Oklahoma State
The first half featured some exciting action between the Cowboys and the Musketeers. Back and forth and a fair amount of points in this one. 38-36 Okie State led Xavier at halftime. However, in the second half, THE COWBOYS ABSOULUTELY TOOK OVER! How sweet it was for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who in the 2nd half developed a lead as big as 15 en route to a 82-69 win and a trip to the elite eight.
#2 Duke vs. #11 VCU
Duke is seemingly unstoppable. While there was a little back and forth in the first few minutes, Duke seized control from there. They led the VCU Rams 40-30 at halftime and they never let up in the 2nd half. VCU would never get within 6 of Duke and they basically blew them out. 76-58 Duke wins and that one capped off a rather uneventful Sweet Sixteen in the East Region.
#2 Duke vs. #8 Oklahoma State
The first half of this game was rather interested. It started out with the Cowboys chasing the Blue Devils in points but they never really had a big lead until they got on a 9-0 run, putting their lead up to 12. But the cowboys immediately answered that with a 7-0 run themselves and they pulled and a Brown jumper at the buzzer brought Okie. St. to within 3 of the Blue Devils at halftime in the TD Banknorth Garden, 39-36 The Cowboys start the half with a 5-0 run and they lead the Devils! Can the 8-seed make the Final Four? Duke quickly responds with a 5-0 run themselves and are back up by 3 with over 15 to go. The Cowboys tied it at 44 and we go a few minutes without any points. Duke then goes on a run and develops a 58-47 lead with 6:57 to go! But wait!! The Cowboys won’t go away! They battle back and a Muonelo tip in makes it a 4-point game with 1:59 to go!! Can they pull off the comeback? It’s difficult. Duke keeps responding, now it’s a 6-point game with 18 seconds left. But wait again! MUONELO FROM 3! THE COWBOYS ARE WITHIN 3! Zoubek is fouled with 16 seconds left and he makes a free throw. 4-point lead….ANDERSON HURLS UP A 3!.... NO GOOD! REBOUND BY ZOUBEK OF DUKE AND HE IS FOULED! He’ll make his freebies and that’ll do it! The Duke Blue Devils advance to the Final Four but what a gutsy effort by the Cowboys!