Once again, if this looks familiar, it's because this is being simulpost over at SSR. Anyway, the Midwest Region was Mookie's and here is his simulation of it! (with accurately play-in game included!)
We have to start off with the play-in game first!
Morehead State vs. Alabama State: Not much to talk about here. Morehead State had a +12 rebound advantage and really were not in much danger of letting Alabama State rally. Once the Eagles got the halftime lead they rarely looked back and put the game away late with a 69-60 win. Phil Simms’ school will play Louisville in Dayton, OH.
#1 Louisville vs. #16 Morehead State: Louisville actually trailed by 1 point in the closing minutes of the first half, but took the lead at intermission 28-26. But too much of the Cardinals eliminated all hopes of a #16 beating a #1 seed. Terrence Williams hit a dagger three to put Louisville up 64-47 and cruised to victory. Some late garbage points from the Eagles made the final score 70-58.
#8 Ohio State vs. #9 Siena: Another close game is eventually salted away. The Saints went on a 9-0 run to make 54-49 lead a 63-49 cushion with 3:05 left. Down goes our first Big Ten team. Siena wins it 67-57.
#5 Utah vs.#12 Arizona: A back and forth first half saw Arizona close out the first 20 minutes with an 11-1 run to rally to take a 34-29 lead. Arizona was looking to show the committee that they didn’t make the wrong decision to inexplicably put them in the tournament again. Neither team led by double digits and a grandstand finish was in store. Shawn Green, FOR TWO!!!! GOOD!!! 65-61 UTAH WITH 18 SECONDS TO GO!! SURELY IT IS ALL OVER NOW! Chase Budinger…..RESPONDS WITH A THREE WITH :12 LEFT!!! They foul Carlon Brown with :08 to go and it’s a one-and-one. He hits both! Utah up 67-64. One last chance for Arizona, BUDINGER FROM THE LEFT WING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!! HE FORCES OVERTIME AS TIME EXPIRES!!!!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Unfortunately, Arizona never took the lead in OT and their rallies were answered by Utah. The Utes advance 85-77 over Arizona in overtime.
#4 Wake Forest vs. #13 Cleveland State: We have not had an upset so far. Is this our time? With Cleveland State up 39-28, Norris Cole hit a buzzer-beating three at halftime to take a shock 42-28 lead over the Demon Deacons! With the help of Jeff Teague, Wake Forest quickly cut the lead to 44-42 and it looked like the the Vikings would get blown out. Instead of folding, Cleveland State held on to their lead and and were up 65-63 with 2:14 to go. James Johnson HITS THE BASKET AND ONE!!!!!! WAKE FOREST CAN TAKE THE LEAD!! JOHNSON HITS THE FREE THROW!!! At the other end, Cedric Jackson is fouled! Cleveland State gets the lead back! Teague FOR THREE!!!!!!!!! IT IS GOOD!!! 69-67 WAKE FOREST! Chris Moore is fouled by LD Williams! He hits both free throws and ties it at 69-69! James Johnson is fouled! More free throws and Wake Forest leads 71-69 with :47 left! Last chance for Cleveland State, D’Aundray Brown has the ball……and it’s TAKEN AWAY BY AL-FAROUQ AMINU!!! They’ll let the clock run down, shot clock at 4 and AMINU HITS THE JUMPSHOT!!! :06 LEFT AND WAKE FOREST SURVIVES!!! 73-69 Wake Forest advances with a dramatic comeback.
#6 West Virginia vs. #11 Dayton: West Virginia took a 27-22 lead and made it 35-22 by halftime and cruised to victory in a relatively boring game. The sexy pick to be the next Cinderella gets wiped out in the 1st round. A 70-54 win for Bob Huggins’ side.
#3 Kansas vs. #14 North Dakota State: The game was over midway through the 2nd half and the defending champs pull off a really easy victory. Kansas 81 North Dakota State 64
#7 Boston College vs. #10 USC: The Eagles held the Pac-10 tournament champions to 32% shooting from the field, including 2-10 from downtown, and won in a blowout. Joe Trapani’s 20 point performance on 7-12 shooting complimented Tyrese Rice’s 23 points (7 rebounds and 5 assists) in their 73-55 win.
#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Robert Morris: It was supposed to be a walkover, but the Spartans found themselves tied 36-36 with lowly Robert Morris at halftime. Jeremy Chappell hit 5 of his 7 three-point shots to keep the Colonials in the game. With the outcome too close to call, it came down to who could shoot better in the clutch. Bateko Francisco, GOES FOR THREE!!! YES!!! THE COLONIALS LEAD 73-66 with 1:32 TO GO!!! After some free throws were made…..Durell Summers hits the three at the buzzer but it’s all over!!!!!!!!!! ROBERT MORRIS HAS PULLED OFF ONE OF THE BIGGEST UPSETS IN THE HISTORY OF MARCH MADNESS!!! THEY KNOCK OFF MICHIGAN STATE 81-75 IN A SHOCKER!!
#1 Louisville vs. #9 Siena: The 2nd round began with another blowout. Siena only had the right to say they led 2-0, because after that they got wiped out. Siena was down by 11 at the half and only got within 8 and that was it. Louisville goes to the sweet 16 with an 82-63 romp. The Cardinals shot 53.3% from the field and had 5 players score in double figures.
#5 Utah vs. #4 Wake Forest: Despite Jeff Teague scoring just 6 points, he dished out 7 assists and helped Wake Forest throttle Utah 64-54. The score is deceiving, as Wake Forest was up 55-38 and went into cruise control from that point. The Utes did cut it to 55-49 but it was too late, they had nothing left, and Wake Forest advances.
#6 West Virginia vs. #3 Kansas: Only one team led in this game. Once up by as many as 20, and hit half of their shots……and WEST VIRGINIA KNOCKED OUT KANSAS! Bob Huggins knocked out Duke last year and now Kansas this year. The Mountaineers led 80-60 before Kansas score 7 meaningless points late. De’Sean Butler scored 25 points, hit 3-3 from downtown, and shot 10-13 overall. His side advanced to the Sweet 16! Final Score: West Virginia 80 Kansas 67
#7 Boston College vs. #15 Robert Morris: The Colonials once again played an even first half of basketball, and actually lead 33-31 at the break. Boston College lost in the rebound department, -7 differential, huge in the outcome of the game. It’s an offensive rebound and a 2nd chance opportunity was converted by Dallas Green. A 63-52 lead for Robert Morris wit just 3:49 to go? Could it be? The score 68-63 after the Colonials had their lead trimmed with :24 gave BC one last chance. Here’s Rice for three!!! OFF THE MARK!! RAKIM SANDERS WITH THE REBOUND!!! THEY HAVE TO GET THE SHOT AWAY!!! RICE!!!!!!!!! YES!! A 68-66 GAME WITH :07 LEFT!! HANG ON! JEREMY CHAPPELL FOULED WITH :03 LEFT! HE MISSES THE FIRST!! MAKES THE SECOND! ONE LAST CHANCE FOR BC!! IT’S RICE FOR THE TIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! CINDERELLA HAS A NEW NAME!! AND IT’S ROBERT MORRIS!!!! THEY KNOCK OFF BOSTON COLLEGE 69-66!!!!
#1 Louisville vs. # 4 Wake Forest: A close game throughout between two of the top teams in the nation. When it looked like Louisville had put the Demon Deacons away up 60-51, the ACC side stormed back to cut it to 60-59. In the end however, Louisville knocked down two three-pointers (both from Jerry Smith) and took over down the stretch. The Cardinals staved off Wake Forest’s rally and won 77-71.
#6 West Virginia vs. #15 Robert Morris: Cinderella once again played a superior opponent close, and were up 33-30 at halftime. Unfortunately, there would be no third straight improbable win. The Mountaineers seized a 57-47 advantage over the Colonials and never looked back. When Robert Morris had one last chance to pull off a comeback but failed to score in the final 3:31 and fell 71-63. An all Big East matchup in store for the Midwest Regional Final.
#1 Louisville vs. #6 West Virginia: Blowout. Louisville comes out of Lucas Oil Stadium champions of the Midwest!!! They advance with a comfortable 82-55 wipeout of their conference rivals. Not exactly the close finish in the East regional, and it was a game to forget for West Virginia. They got killed on the boards, couldn’t shoot to save their lives, but failed to play defense and out the door they go. Louisville will face the winner of the West region.
So in the Final Four we know that it is Duke and Louisville. Will they be joined by conference rivals, UNC and UConn, respectively? Or will there be some sort of shocker in the works. Find out tomorrow when the West and South Brackets are revealed!