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The Tournament That Wasn't

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Although the NCAA Tournament has been cancelled in 2020, fear not!  For in DDSCB2020 there is not CoronaVIrus, and DDSCB2020's Tournament Maker allows the BIg Dance to come alive.

Since only a few conference tournaments concluded before the cancellation was announced, the results of any conference tournaments that were played have been disregarded.  Teams have been selected and seedings made based upon conference standings, overall records, polls and RPI...and my own whims.

Real World Mod Option #4 was used to create the association upon which Tournament Maker was based for this DDSCB2020 NCAA Tournament.  So each team has real-life coaches.  But players for teams are fictional, of course, rather than this season's actual real-life results may vary from what you expect.

Now time to get started so brackets can be constructed and tournament games played.

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33 minutes ago, PointGuard said:

Although the NCAA Tournament has been cancelled in 2020, fear not!  For in DDSCB2020 there is not CoronaVIrus, and DDSCB2020's Tournament Maker allows the BIg Dance to come alive.

Since only a few conference tournaments concluded before the cancellation was announced, the results of any conference tournaments that were played have been disregarded.  Teams have been selected and seedings made based upon conference standings, overall records, polls and RPI...and my own whims.

Real World Mod Option #4 was used to create the association upon which Tournament Maker was based for this DDSCB2020 NCAA Tournament.  So each team has real-life coaches.  But players for teams are fictional, of course, rather than this season's actual real-life results may vary from what you expect.

Now time to get started so brackets can be constructed and tournament games played.


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Eight teams fight for the final four spots in the tournament:

Play-in game for 12th seed: Memphis Tigers (21-10) vs Bradley Braves (23-11)

Bradley drew first blood and moved out to a 7 point lead after 4 minutes of play. Bradley’s hot shooting kept them with a solid lead for the first 10 minutes of the first half with SG Kyle Jones pouring in 13 points during those 10 minutes of play. But then Memphis, led by reserve PG Kris Robinson, crept back to take a 27-26 lead with 6 minutes left in the first half. But Kyle Jones continued to connect allowing the Braves to again pull away and finish the half with a 42-35 advantage. For Bradley, Jones hit 8 of 12 from the field including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc to score 20 points. Kris Robinson and SF L. Goslin both scored 9 points for Memphis.

The game was close in the 2nd half and tied at 47-47 with 12 minutes to go. Defense predominated with Memphis’ 2-3 zone giving the Braves fits. The Tigers gained a 58-54 lead with 5 minutes remaining. PG Rickie Leib hit a long 3 for Bradley with 3-1/2 minutes left to cut the lead to 58-57. Memphis’ Leighton Goslin got free for a 3 of his own a minute later and the Tigers regained their 4 point advantage. 3-pointers remained to be the shots that were going down and PG Gary Watson dropped another in with 2:09 on the close as Bradley again closed with a singe point at 61-60. SG Adarrial Johnson drove down the baseline and scored on a reverse lay-in to put Memphis on top 63-60 with 1:53 to go. Then neither team could score until Bradley’s Gary Watson sunk another 3 to tie the game at 63-63 with 10 seconds remaining. Memphis got the ball into the hands of Adarrial Johnson at the top of the key and he drove across the key and pulled up to knock down a 5 foot jumper with 4 seconds on the clock. Bradley inbounded to Kyle Jones and he drove up court and lofted up a final shot from the midcourt line. The last gasp shot nearly went in but rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.

Memphis gained the 12 seed with their exciting 65-63 victory. The difference in the game was the 2-3 zone by Memphis that forced Bradley to make 18 turnovers. The tight defense on both sides of the court in the 2nd half dropped shooting percentages for each team to under 40%. Memphis will be matched up against #5 seed BYU.

Memphis: SF Leighton Goslin-19 pts and 7 reb, SG Adarrial Johnson-14 pts.

Bradley: SG Kyle Jones-22 pts, PG Gary Watson-14 pts, C Chaz Ferguson-11 reb.

Play-in Game for 16th seed: Siena Saints (20-10) vs Prairie View Panthers (19-13)

Siena jumped out to a 7-0 lead and with 6 minutes left in the first half the Saints were ahead 31-10 as their defense was forcing Prairie View to make numerous turnovers and keeping their shooting percentage low. When the half ended the score stood at Siena-37, Prairie View-20. The Saints outshot the Panthers 48% to 33% (and 37% to 13% on 3’s), held an 18-13 rebounding advantage and a 12-9 turnover advantage. C Dean Holst and PG Johnny Griffin both scored 9 points for Siena while PF John Blakes and PG Maurice Edwards scored 5 points apiece for Prairie View.

Siena continued to outplay Prairie View in the 2nd half, opening as much as a 26 point lead before settling for a 86-67 trouncing of the Panthers. Sienna scored 30 points in the paint compared to just 12 by Prairie View. The win sends Siena up against #1 seed Kansas.

Siena: Jason Harris—22 pts, 10 reb; Dean Holst-10, 8 reb; Landry Martin-11 pts, 7 reb; Johnny Griffin-11 pts, 8 assists.

Prairie View: Shawn Bland-14 pts; Kyle Wells-11 pts; Bob Montgomery-11 pts.

Play-in Game for 16th seed: North Carolina Central Eagles (18-13) vs Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans (21-10)

After 4 minutes of play, Arkansas-Little Rock had opened an 11-2 lead. NC Central made a couple of runs to draw within a point at two points in the half and trailed 37-33 when the halftime buzzer sounded. The Trojans were led by SG Damon Solverson’s 14 points. For the Eagles, SG Tom Saunders hit for 9 points while reserve guard Mike SIngleterry added 7 points.

The Trojans drew away and established a 51-40 lead with 12-1/2 minutes left in the game. Their lead grew to 16 points before a late run by the Eagles cut the lead to 4. The final score was 73-68 as Arkansas-Little Rock, who will now advance to take on #1 seed Gonzaga, held on to edge NC Central.

Arkansas-Little Rock: SG Damon Solverson-20 pts; C Ben Johnson-14 pts, 7 reb; PF Terrell Whitehead-11 pts, 9 reb, 3 assists, 4 steals.

North Carolina Central: SG Tom Saunders-14 pts, 6 assists; G Mike SIngleterry-12 pts, 4 reb, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks.

Play-in Game for 12th seed: Arizona State Sun Devils (20-11) vs North Carolina State Wolfpack (20-12)

The first half was a barn-burner the entire way with 13 lead changes. Arizona State outshot NC State 52% to 37% but the Wolfpack had just 2 turnovers and hit 4 more 3-pointers than the Sun Devils. The half ended with Arizona State ahead 42-40. C Grant Dooley hit 6 of his 7 shots to score 12 for the Sun Devils. For NC State SG Duez Slade dropped in 14 points.

It took 3-1/2 minutes for NC State to score in the 2nd half but at that point Arizona St. was only ahead 46-42. The Sun Devils then gradually began pulling away by controlling the boards and maintaining a tight defense. Arizona State led 64-48 midway with 8 minutes remaining. NC State was never able to recover and fell 82-66 to the Sun Devils. Arizona State hit 45% of their FG attempts compared to just 30% by NC State. The Sun Devils got to the line twice as much as the Wolfpack and scored 10 more points on free throws. Arizona State dominated the boards 48-37. The Sun Devils will now be matched up with #5 seed Wisconsin.

Arizona State: PF James Lewis-15 pts, C Grant Dooley-14 pts, 12 reb; SG Clay Frahm-13 pts, 4 reb, 6 assists.

North Carolina State: SG Duez Slade-16 pts; SF Kyle Selden-10 pts, 8 reb; PF Shawnelle Rohwer-11 pts, 7 reb.

Edited by PointGuard

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Midwest Region Round 1 (part 1 of 4)

#1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (28-3) vs #16 seed Siena Saints (21-10)

Siena took a surprising 17-9 lead after 6 minutes of play. But Coach __ called a time out and must have lit a fire under his players as they scored 12 unanswered points. The Jayhawks then continued to expand their lead and opened a 10 point advantage with 4-1/2 minutes remaining in the half. By the time expired ending the half, Siena trailed 55-42. Kansas knocked down 61% of their shots while Siena hit just 43% of theirs. Leading the scoring for the Jayhawks was reserve guard Shaun Wright with 11 points in just 5 minutes of play. C Dean Holst topped the Saints scoring with 8 points.

In the 2nd half the talent of Kansas continued to devour the Saints’ defense and with 12 minutes remaining in the game, the Jayhawks led 75-54. Then with 2-1/2 minutes to go, Kansas held a 101-71 lead. Kansas hit 59% of their FG attempts (and 44% of their 3P attempts) while holding an 18-7 turnover advantage.

The result was:

Kansas-109 (C Richard Williams-18 pts, 2 stl, 3blk; SG Shaun Wright-13 pts; PF Scott Bullock-12 pts; SF Ron Lawson-11 pts; SF Leon Martin-10 pts, 8 reb)
Siena-75 (SF Jason Harris-18 pts, 7 reb; C Dean Holst-10 pts)

#2 seed San Diego State Aztecs (30-2) vs #15 seed Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash (22-10)

San Diego State scored on their first three possessions take a 6-2 lead with SG Isaac Haston scoring 5 of those points. The first 4 minutes of the game became a contest between the two SG’s with Haston scoring 7 of the Aztecs 8 points and his counterpart on the Red Flash, SG Aaron Hahn scoring all 5 of St, Francis’ points. With 13-1/2 minutes left in the first half, Hahn sunk a 3 to give St. Francis its first lead at 14-13. But the Aztecs responded by scoring the next 7 points. Even though San Diego State kept going ahead by 3-6 points the Red Flash just as often reeled them back in. At the break, San Diego State led 45-43 with both teams hitting over 50% of their shots. But St. Francis had 10 turnovers whereas the Aztecs had just 6. Leading the scoring for San Diego St. was SG Isaac Hahn with 13 points. SG Aaron Hahn topped the scoring for Saint Francis with 11 points.

The Aztecs again kept pulling ahead by 5-9 points in the 2nd half, but St. Francis continually struck back to keep San Diego State from breaking open the game. With 7:14 remaining, San Diego State took their first double digit lead at 77-67. Even though the lead by the Aztecs grew to 13, St. Francis made a late run to cut the lead to 82-76 with 1:22 on the clock. But the Red Flash then couldn’t convert their FG attempts and were forced to foul so that the Aztecs were able to prevail. San Diego State held a 19-12 turnover advantage and scored 14 more points than St. Francis at the charity line.

San Diego State-85 (SG Isaac Haston-17 pts, SF Jay Cobb-16 pts, 6 reb; C Corey Porter-13 pts, 5 reb; PG Jarvis Brown-12 pts, SG Tarise Johnson-5 pts, 12 reb)
St. Francis (PA)-76 (PG Cliff Ostler-15 pts, 4 assists; AG Aaron Hahn-12 pts, PF Antwaan Brown-9 pts, 5 reb, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks)

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Midwest Regional--Round 1 (part 2 of 4)

#3 seed Duke Blue Devils (25-6) vs #14 seed Merrimack Warriors (19-11)

Both teams’ defenses predominated in the early minutes of the game. During the first 8 minutes of play the lead shifted back and forth and only a few points separated the teams. But midway through the half Duke began opening a lead and with 8:18 to go before intermission, Duke was on top 28-17. With 6 minutes to go Merrimack trailed 34-17 and the rout was on. When the buzzer sounded, Duke led 53-31. The Blue Devils outshot the Warriors 56% to 39% and held a 10-3 turnover advantage. In the first half Duke was paced by SG Billy Horton’s 13 points and reserve guard Ben Scott’s 12 points and 4 assists. PG Joe Harris hit for 10 points for Merrimack.

Four minutes into the 2nd half, Duke led by 32 points. The game was basically over at that point. Duke went on to trounce the Warriors as the Blue Devils took advantage of Merrimack’s 2-3 zone to connect on sixteen 3-pointers.

Duke-86 (SG Billy Horton-19 pts, 7 reb, 5 assists; SF Renaldo Miller-17 pts, 5 reb, 4 blocks; PG Ben Scott-15 pts, 4 assists; SF Tyson Anderson-13 pts, 6 reb; PG Jeffrey Gardiner-11 pts, 8 assists)
Merrimack-55 (PG Joe Harris-13 pts; SF Troy Flint-10 pts)

#4 seed Seton Hall Pirates (21-9) vs #13 seed Colgate Raiders (25-9)

Colgate maintained a small lead throughout much of the first 10 minutes. The lead then flip-flopped for the next 5 minutes after which Seton Hall gained a small advantage. The half ended with the Pirates holding a 41-35 advantage. PG Sean Lee came off the bench to score 10 points in 11 minutes of play for Seton Hall while SF Kenyon Eisley led Colgate offensively with 10 points.

Seton Hall built a 10 point lead and held it throughout most of the 2nd half. Then the Pirates pulled away in the final 8 minutes to expand their lead to as much as 19 points. Seton Hall’s win was based upon their 36-23 rebounding advantage, a 34-8 points in the paint advantage, and a 15-4 second chance points advantage.

Seton Hall-81 (PF Greg Asbury-19 pts, 9 reb, 2 steals, 2 blocks; PG Sean Lee-16 pts; C Damian Kennard-14 pts, 5 reb; C Scott Arnold-13 pts, 7 reb)
Colgate-65 (C Brett Whaley-13 pts; SF Kenyon Eisley-10 pts)

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Midwest Regional--Round 1 (part 3 of 4)

#5 seed Wisconsin Badgers (21-10) vs #12 seed Arizona State Sun Devils (21-11)

Arizona State controlled the tip-off and worked the ball inside to C Grant Dooley who double faked and put up a jumper from short range that came off the rim. Dooley cut inside his man to grab the rebound and stuff the ball into the basket. I took nearly 3 minutes before either team could make another field goal. Both teams’ shooting heated up from that point and the game stayed close, but reserve SF Gareth Christian scored 11 quick points to put Arizona State on top 18-13 with 12 minutes remaining in the half. The Sun Devils continued to increase their lead and with 7-1/2 minutes left they were up by 11. Wisconsin then began to trim the lead with PF Jon Stanton leading the way. With 1-1/2 minutes remaining the Badgers trailed by a single point at 38-37. Then in the last 30 seconds of the half, Wisconsin’s Shaun Copeland picked off a bad pass and hit a streaking Lonnie Edney who laid it in to put the Badgers of top 41-40 and that’s the way the half ended. The team stats were as close as the score. PF Jon Stanton scored 14 points to lead Wisconsin’s scoring. SF Gareth Christian tossed in 18 points and C Grant Dooley hit for 11 points for Arizona State.

Wisconsin’s defense kept Arizona State from scoring for the first 3-1/2 minutes of the 2nd half. By then the Badgers were ahead 46-40. Wisconsin expanded its lead to 52-42 with 15 minutes left in the game. Arizona State scored the next 8 points to claw their way back into the game. Wisconsin took advantage of a series of turnovers by the Sun Devils to reopen a 10 point lead with 7 minutes remaining. Arizona State tried to narrow the lead but inconsistent play resulted in turnovers and missed shots while Wisconsin began hitting from beyond the arc. Wisconsin outshot the Sun Devils 47% to 39% and out-rebounded Arizona State 43-27. Those just viewing the final score wouldn’t understand how close most of this game had been.

Wisconsin-81 (PG Marques Tucker-18 pts, 5 assists; SG Travis Watkins-16 pts, 10 reb, 4 assists; PG Lonnie Edney-15 pts)
Arizona State-65 (Gareth Christian-22 pts; C Grant Dooley-13 pts, 7 reb)

Greg Card, head coach of Wisconsin said, “We definitely struggled in the first half and were lucky to get out of it with a really slim lead. In the locker room at the half, I told the guys we were gonna get our butts kicked unless we played some defense. And they responded with solid defense the entire last 20 minutes.”

#6 seed East Tennessee State Buccaneers (30-4) vs #11 seed Liberty Flames (30-4)

This is an interesting matchup of two teams with identical (very good) W-L records. East Tennessee is the definite favorite, but the Flames are itching for an upset victory.

On the first possession of the game, the Buccaneers’ SG Brandon Thurston put up a 3-point shot 10 seconds into the game that swished through the net. Liberty worked the ball around and responded when C Antonio Collins buried a baseline jumper. On their next possession, the Flames took a 4-3 lead when PF Nate Kennedy connected on a 12 footer from the right side of the key. East Tennessee scored the next 9 points. The Buccaneers kept trying to pull away, but Liberty hung in and with 4:11 to play in the half, Kennedy sank a 3 to bring the Flames with a single point at 27-26. A minute later, the Flames’ PG Leonard Howard drove to the baseline and threw up a 10 footer that dropped in to put Liberty ahead 28-27. SF Tom Phelan was fouled while shooting and sunk both free throws as the Buccaneers recaptured the lead. The lead switched back with 2:10 to go as Collins scored for Liberty. East Tennessee came back to gain the lead again when C Aki Archibald dropped in 2 foul shots with 1:03 on the clock. 15 seconds later PF Brandon McRae popped in a jumper to put the Flames back ahead 34-33. With time running out in the half, PF Wayne Smith dropped in a tightly contested 8 footer to give East Tennessee a 35-34 halftime advantage in a game as exciting as was anticipated. SG Brandon Thurston scored 8 points to lead East Tennessee’s scoring while SG Lou Abraham scored 11 points for Liberty.

Opening the 2nd half, East Tennessee scored the first 7 points. After hitting back-to-back 3’s, the Buccaneers jumped ahead 52-40 with 14 minutes to go. A sound man-to-man defense by East Tennessee kept the Flames from getting clear shots and they steadily fell further behind. With 6 minutes remaining, the Buccaneers went ahead by 23 points. The rest of the game was anticlimactic. East Tennessee held a 53% to 39% FG shooting advantage and hit 50% of their 3’s.

East Tennessee-82 (PG Bob Welch-22 pts, C Aki Archibald-13 pts, 6 reb, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1 block; SG Brandon Thurston-12 pts)
Liberty-62 (SG Lou Abraham-18 pts, PF Nate Kennedy-11 pts)

East Tennessee’s Head coach Steve Forbes said after the game, “Liberty brought it in the first half and gave us almost more than we could handle. But my guys were intent on proving that our rating in the polls this season was justified and came out in the 2nd half on a mission.”

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Midwest Regional--Round 1 (part 4 of 4)

#7 seed Butler Bulldogs (22-9) vs #10 seed Utah State Aggies (26-8)

Butler began by quickly jumping out to a 10-4 lead but then went ice cold. Even though Utah State was turning the ball over frequently the Aggies took a 12-10 lead with 12 minutes left in the half. Although Butler was able to score a little and regain the lead in the late stages of the first half, they were flat offensively all the way to the end of the half. At the break Butler led 28-25. The Bulldogs hit only 32% of their shots but Utah State did little better, scoring on just 38% of their FG attempts. Butler held a 10-5 turnover advantage. Butler’s C Tim Chappel scored 10 points. PG Edmund McColpin scored 8 points for Utah State.

Ugly play continued in the 2nd half. Butler was able to open a 7 point lead but with 5 minutes to play, Utah State tied the game at 52-52. Utah State then failed to score during the final 5 minutes allowing Butler to escape with a win. Both teams hit less than 40% of their shots. But Utah State made 20 turnovers, while Butler had just 13 and the Bulldogs held a 32-26 rebounding advantage. Butler held a 30-14 advantage on points in the paint and a 16-4 fast break points advantage.

Butler-66 (SG Brad Regis-22 pts; C Tim Chappel-13 pts, 9 reb, 3 steals, 1 block)
Utah State-52 (C Jeff Dilligard-10 pts, 8 reb, 2 steals, 2 blocks)

“We can’t have another lackluster performance,” said Butler’s head coach LaVall Jordan.

#8 seed Colorado Buffaloes (21-11) vs #9 seed Wichita State Shockers (23-8)

Colorado started slowing dropping behind by 5 points but came back to take a 22-8 lead with 9-1/2 minutes remaining in the first half as Wichita State was hitting just 14% of their shots. The Shockers finally began scoring but trailed 48-32 at the break. Colorado outshot the Shockers 54% to 36%. Colorado was led by reserve C Alvin Griffin with 12 points and 5 rebounds and PF Lee Hahn with 10 points. For Wichita State, SG Jarian Danielson scored 12 points.

Colorado’s defense stymied the Shockers throughout the 2nd half and the Buffaloes decimated Wichita State to score an easy victory. Colorado hit 50% of their FG attempts while Wichita State could only connect on 32% of their shots. Colorado also controlled the boards 38-28 and held a 17-10 turnover advantage. Colorado’s dominance was further evidenced as they scored 38 points in the paint compared with 10 by the Shockers, a 11-2 second chance points advantage, and a 12-0 fastbreak points advantage.

Colorado-88 (PF Lee Hahn-23 pts, 7 reb; C Alvin Griffin-18 pts, 8 reb)
Wichita State-57 (SG Jarian Danielson-12 pts)

Head coach Tad Boyle of Colorado said, “Lee (Hahn) and Alvin (Griffin) were terrific tonight. They combined to hit 18 of 24 shots and pull down 15 rebounds. And our whole team played kick-ass defense the entire way.”

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The first round of the Midwest Regional has completed. Somewhat surprisingly, all 8 of the higher seeds won their games. Several of those games had exceptionally competitive and exciting first halves, but then the team that was the higher seed came on strong in the 2nd half.

As you view the round 2 matchups, do you foresee the higher seeds in each of those games prevailing? Which team is the most likely to gain an upset victory in round 2?


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East Regional-Round 1 (part 1 of 4)

#1 seed Dayton Flyers (29-2) vs #16 seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (21-10)

Dayton came out on fire! After the first 4 minutes they'd roared out to a 20-2 lead. UC Santa Barbara then scrappily worked their way back into the game, trimming the lead to 11. But a late run by the Flyers resulted in a 47-30 halftime difference. Both teams hit over 50% of their shots, but 14 turnovers by the Gauchos was their undoing. C Devin Watkins scored 16, grabbed 4 boards, dished out 2 assists, and had 3 steals for Dayton and teammate SG Jonathan Jefferson added 11 points. The Gauchos top scorer with 8 points was PF Greg Marshack.

Dayton continued their assault in the 2nd half and with 8 minutes to go had gone ahead 75-44. The Flyers simply destroyed the Gauchos. Dayton tossed in 56% of their FG attempts (including 53% of their 3’s) and had just 10 turnovers while forcing UC Santa Barbara to turn the ball over 20 times.

Dayton-92 (C Devin Watkins-20 pts; SG Jonathan Jefferson-19 pts; PF Leon Smith-12 pts; PF Charles Nealy-10 pts)
UC Santa Barbara-61 (C Derek Johnson-14 pts; PF Greg Marshack-11 pts)

“There were a lot of people saying that no matter what our record was,we didn’t deserve to be so highly rated in the polls and didn’t deserve a #1 seed since we weren’t in one of the power conferences,” said Dayton’s head coach Anthony Grant. “That definitely has put a burr under our saddle and our guys proved that with the way they came out blazing and continued to play hard the entire 40 minutes.”

#2 seed Kentucky Wildcats (25-6) vs #15 seed Winthrop Eagles (24-10)

Kentucky muscled their way to an early lead and held onto it until Winthrop’s defense shut down the Wildcats. The Eagles tied the game at 23-23 with 7 minutes to go in the first half. The Eagles then moved to a 36-29 lead with 2-1/2 minutes remaining. Kentucky called a time out and came back to retake a 39-37 halftime advantage. Kentucky’s SG Tim Woodley scored 12 points and PF Mike Hollins had 10. SF Andy Carter dropped in 14 points to spark Winthrop.

Kentucky spurted to a 58-41 lead after just 7 minutes of play in the 2nd half. The Wildcats continued to pad their lead and with 5 minutes left in the game they were ahead 78-48. Kentucky’s defense limited Winthrop to just 22 points in the 2nd half and dropped the Eagle’s shooting to 34%. Kentucky made 51% of their shots.

Kentucky-91 (PF Mike Hollins-21 pts, 12 reb, 2 steals, 1 block in 18 minutes of time on the court; SG Tim Woodley-16 pts)
Winthrop-59 (SF Andy Carter-16 pts)

Pat Kelsey head coach of Winthrop said, “We stuck with Kentucky in the first half, but then Kentucky throttled our offense in the 2nd half and then our defense went south.” John Calipari, Kentucky’s head coach said, “After we came out at the beginning of the game and took a nice lead I think our guys lost their focus and Winthrop did a nice job of taking advantage of that. We regrouped in the locker room at the half and put it all together in the 2nd half. I can’t say enough about Mike Hollins. He’d been sidelined with an injury that had kept him out of practice for over a week. So we had to limit his time on the court, but when he was out there he was simply a beast.”

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East Regional-Round 1 (part 2 of 4)

#3 seed Auburn Tigers (25-6) vs #14 seed North Dakota State Bison (25-8)

North Dakota State hit 4 of their first 5 three point attempts to take a small initial lead and then hang with Auburn for several minutes. But a spate of turnovers and a porous defense cost the Bison allowing the Tigers to steadily pull away. By the end of the half Auburn was in front by a score of 49-37. Both teams shot well (Auburn 55% and North Dakota State 52%), but the Tigers held a 16-11 rebounding advantage and a 12-5 turnover advantage. Auburn scored 34 points in the paint and 16 fast break points in the first half. C Alan Johnson paced Auburn’s scoring with 12 points while PG Kyle Worthing scored 8 points for the Bison.

Auburn’s dominance continued in the 2nd half. With9-1/2 minutes left to play the Bisons had slipped behind by 23 points and further devastation occurred from there to the end of the game. Auburn continued to hit over 50% of their shots and dominated the boards 41-25 and held a 17-8 turnover advantage. The Tigers scored 58 points in the paint to 8 by the Bison, had a 10-4 advantage in 2nd half points, and an 18-2 advantage in fast break points.

Auburn-98 (C Alan Johnson-20 pts, PF Cameron Harris-13 pts, 8 reb, 4 steals, 1 block; SG Kenneth Solverson-12 pts, 5 assists; SG Tony Berlin-11 pts, 7 reb; C Shannon Anderson-11 pts, 5 reb, SF Pat Hawkins-9 pts, 7 reb, 6 assists)
North Dakota State-68 (PG Kyle Worthing-11 pts, PF Donnell Fox-11 pts, 8 reb; SF Lamont Boykin-10 pts, 4 reb, 4 assists)

“I enjoyed the first 2 minutes when we had a 5-2 lead, but the final 38 minutes were pure hell,” said North Dakota State head coach David Richman.

#4 seed Louisville Cardinals (24-7) vs #13 seed Eastern Washington Eagles (23-8)

Louisville held a small lead throughout the 1st half and expanded it to a 42-32 margin at the break. The Cardinals outshot the Eagles 52% to 38% and held a 21-10 rebounding advantage, but Eastern Washington made just 3 turnovers compared to Louisville’s 8. Leading the Cardinals’ scoring was PG Darius Howell with 16 points with PF Chris Adkins scoring 11 and grabbing 6 boards. Eastern Washington’s SG John McCreight hit for 7 points.

Louisville turned 2 quick turnovers by the Eagles into fast break scores and then expanded their lead to 20 just 3 minutes into the 2nd half. The Cardinals pressure defense wreaked havoc with Eastern Washington’s offense and Louisville continued to pull away all the way to the end of the game. Louisville his 49% of their shots while Eastern Washington was limited to just 35%. The Cardinals crashed the boards for a 42-25 rebounding advantage. Louisville scored 32 points in the paint compared to 14 by the Eagles, held a 13-0 2nd chance point advantage, and a 10-2 fast break advantage.

Louisville-84 (PF Chris Adkins-18 pts, 11 reb; PG Darius Howell-16 pts, 6 assists; C Roman Cole-10 pts; SF Gene Barnes-9 pts, 12 reb)
Eastern Washington-54 (SG John McCreight-9 pts; SF Marek Bryant-8 pts, 6 reb)

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East Regional-Round 1 (part 3 of 4)

#5 seed Virginia Cavaliers (23-7) vs #12 seed North Texas Mean Green (20-11)

No more than 2 points separated either team the first 10 minutes of the game. But in the last 10 minutes of the first half Virginia steadily edged further ahead. When the buzzer sending the teams to the locker room, the Cavaliers were on top 49-40. Although North Texas knocked down 59% of their first half shots, they had made twice as many turnovers as Virginia. PG Kurt Spurgeon scored 14 for the Cavaliers and while C Colin Lucas only had 2 points, he had 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. PF Bob Arden tossed in 9 points for the Mean Green.

North Texas couldn’t keep up with Virginia in the 2nd half and never challenged as the Cavaliers extended their lead to as much as 23 points. The Cavaliers had an advantage is nearly ever team stat.

Virginia-81 (PF A.J. Bakken-20 pts, 7 reb; PG Kurt Spurgeon-19 pts, SF E Ezell-11 pts, Colin Lucas-2 pts, 11 reb, 5 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks)
North Texas-60 (PF Bob Arden-11 pts, SF DeAntoine Morton-11 pts

“Our guys just came out and took care of business,” said head coach Tony Bennett of Virginia.

#6 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (20-11) vs #11 seed Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (28-3)

Neither team scored for the first 3 minutes of the game. At that point Ohio State’s SG Drew Searcy broke open the scoring by sinking a 3-point shot. Stephen F. Austin didn’t score until the 15:13 mark. The Lumberjacks were unable to catch up with the Buckeyes and trailed 35-23 at the intermission. Ohio State hit only 39% of their shots but Stephen F. Austin’s shooting percentage was just 26%. SG Drew Searcy of Ohio State led all scorers with 10 points. C Kelland Holst had 6 points for the Lumberjacks.

Stephen F. Austin was unable to improve its shooting dramatically in the 2nd half and slipped further and further behind as the half progressed. 20 turnovers by the Lumberjacks led to Ohio State being able to win with ease.

Ohio State-80 (SG Drew Searcy-22 pts; PF Devon Emery-13 pts, 11 reb)
Stephen F. Austin-58 (C Kelland Holst-16 pts, 9 reb)

Ohio State’s head coach Chris Holtman said, “We’re happy to get through round 1 and now quickly have to prepare to take on a very tough Auburn team.”

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East Region-Round 1 (part 4 of 4)

#7 seed Northern Iowa Panthers (25-6) vs #10 seed Arizona Wildcats (21-11)

Arizona scored the first 6 points of the game and held onto a very small lead until Northern Iowa went ahead 16-13 midway through the first half. Arizona fell behind by 6 points during a period when they simply could not get the ball in the hoop. Some late shots that fell in got the Wildcats close at the end of the half and reduced the Panthers’ lead to 31-30. Both teams shot poorly with Northern Iowa hitting 35% of their FG attempts and Arizona making just 30% of theirs. The Panthers two centers, Carl Vickers and William Broderick both scored 8 points. PF Andre Sampson had 7 points and 5 rebounds to lead Arizona.

Arizona’s shooting woes continued in the 2nd half which allowed Northern Iowa to move out to a 51-38 lead with 10 minutes to play. Arizona then with on a 13-0 run to tie the game with 7-1/2 minutes remaining. With 2-1/2 minutes on the clock the Panthers led 62-61. C Carl Vickers muscled up a shot that gave Northern Iowa a 3 point lead 15 seconds later and it remained that way as neither team could score. With 34 seconds on the clock, Arizona grabbed a rebound and called a time out. But the Panthers’ SG Lavor Crudup stole a pass and lobbed it ahead to a driving PF Aaron Brown who tried to throw down a dunk but missed. Arizona rebounded and with 7 seconds to go PG Adam Bakken put up a 3 that scorched through the net to tie the game at 64-64. Northern Iowa’s last gasp 3 was off the mark sending the game to overtime.

In the OT, Arizona’s C Bobby Davis intercepted a pass and fed the ball up court to SF Chad Abney who slammed down a dunk making it 66-64. On the Panthers next possession, PG Keith Robertson drove toward the basket but pulled up 8 feet away and popped in jumper to tie the game again. Abney hit a long 3 with 4 minutes remaining to put Arizona ahead 69-66. After a steal, Davis slammed down a dunk to put Arizona up by 5. Northern Iowa’s PF Andre Brown scored on a second effort making it 71-68 in favor or the Wildcats with 3:19 to play. With 2:18 remaining SG Lavor Crudup drilled a 3 for the Panthers to tie the game again. With the clocking ticking under 2 minutes, C Carl Vickers slipped around his defender to lay in a shot giving Northern Iowa a 73-71 lead. Vickers again worked magic inside and dunked to make it 75-71 with 1:06 to go. SG Jeff Gordon knocked down a 15 foot jumper for Arizona to cut the lead to 2 with 51 seconds left. Arizona fouled and PG Terence Green sank both free throws increasing the Panthers’ lead to 4 points. Northern Iowa’s Brown picked off a pass and Arizona had to foul. PG Keith Robertson made both foul shots to increase the lead to 6 with 27 seconds on the clock. Arizona missed a 3 and fouled to give the Panthers two more points from the charity line. For the entire game, Northern Iowa scored 16 more points at the foul line than did Arizona. The result at the end of overtime was:

Northern Iowa-81 (C Carl Vickers-16 pts, C William Broderick-16 pts, 7 reb; PG Keith Robertson-10 pts, 6 assists; PF Aaron Brown-5 pts, 13 reb)
Arizona-73 (PF Andre Sampson-19 pts, 11 reb, 9 blocks; PF Jamel Smith-11 pts, 7 reb; SF Chad Abney-10 pts, 7 reb)

“That was a heckuva game. Both teams played well defensively. The Wildcats kept erasing our leads. But we never gave up and came up big late in the OT,” said Northern Iowa’s coach Ben Jacobson.

#8 seed Louisiana State Tigers (21-10) vs #9 seed Cincinnati Bearcats (20-10)

Most of the first half was a real dog-fight with neither team being able to break away. But Cincinnati ground out a lead late in the half. The halftime scored was 39-32 in favor of Cincinnati. The Bearcats SG Jon Cravens topped Cincinnati’s scoring with 11 points. For Louisiana State PF Andrew Neal and C Seth Hancock each scored 6 points.

Cincinnati wasn’t able to pull away but held onto a small lead throughout much of the 2nd half, but with 7-1/2 minutes remaining, the Bearcats opened a double digit lead at 59-48. Cincinnati then clamped down defensively. LSU hit just 36% of their FG attempts and made 21 turnovers.

Cincinnati-74 (SG Jon Cravens-17 pts; C Kevin Hanson-11 pts, 8 reb
Louisiana State-58 (C Seth Hancock-11 pts; PF Andrew Neal-8 pts, 6 reb)

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In round 1 of the East Regional, higher seeds won with the exception of #9 Cincinnati upending #8 LSU. While there were some games that were close for major portions of the game, final scores weren't very close.


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South Region-Round 1 (part 1 of 4)

#1 seed Florida State Seminoles (26-5) vs #16 seed Northern Colorado Bears (22-9)

Florida State held onto a small lead early in the half but then began pulling away. Northern Colorado trailed at one point in the first half by as much as 14 points. The Bears cut into the Seminoles’ lead late in the half and finished the first stanza trailing by just 4 points at 35-31. Reserve PF Doug Bybee scored 9 points to lead the scoring for Florida State. Northern Colorado’s PF Dexter White led all scorers with 11 points.

Northern Colorado came onto the court in the 2nd half and scored the first 8 points to take a 39-35 lead. The Bears held a small lead until Florida State tied it at 56-56 with 6-1/2 minutes to play. The Bears recaptured the lead until the 1:33 mark when C Walter Forney scored to put Florida State ahead 66-65. Forney filled the basket again and was fouled on the play. He sank the free throw to put the Seminoles on top 69-65 with 1:03 remaining. Northern Colorado’s PG Thurman Thome was fouled with 52 seconds on the clock. He made just one of two free throws to make the score 69-66. With 27 seconds left to go, Florida State’s PG Bryan Bailey was fouled and made one and missed the second to increase the Seminole’s lead to 70-66. The Bears couldn’t get an open shot and missed a tough shot with 8 seconds remaining. The Bears fouled with 5 seconds but Bryan Bailey made both free throws to seal the victory and Florida State escaped a near huge upset. The team stats were as close as the score.

Florida State-72 (SG Wesley Ross-14 pts; PF Doug Bybee-11 pts; C Walter Forney-10 pts; PF Matt Fox-10 pts)
Northern Colorado-66 (PF Dexter White-15 pts; C Joe Scott-14 pts)

Exhaling a big sigh of relief, Florida State’s coach Leonard Hamilton said, “Northern Colorado absolutely gave us fits in the 2nd half. We were fortunate to be able to pull off the win at the end of the game. Fortunately our free throw shooting tonight was excellent (19 of 23) or the result could have been different. This game should have been a wake up call for our guys that every team in this tournament is dangerous and capable of winning any given game.”

Jeff Lind, the Bears’ head coach, said, “When we fell behind by 14 in the first half, I think everybody pretty much wrote us off. But my guys never let down. They got us back in the game before the half ended and left everything on the court throughout the 2nd half in an effort to pull off a huge upset. Unfortunately we just came up a little short, but I’m exceptionally proud of my team.”

#2 seed Creighton Bluejays (24-7) vs #15 seed Yale Bulldogs (23-7)

Yale scored the first 2 points of the game, but Creighton then score 8 unanswered points. Creighton went on to open a 23-7 lead midway through the first half. Then with 7-1/2 minutes to go in the half, the Bluejays opened a 20 point lead at 33-13. The half ended with the Bluejays leading 46-31. Creighton held a 51% to 42% shooting advantage, dominated the boards 22-11, and had a 7-5 turnover advantage. The Bluejays’ SG Gerrod Ward scored 10 points for Creighton while PG Jeremy Nelson had 7 points for Yale.

With 11 minutes to go in the 2nd half, Creighton’s annihilation of the Bulldogs was continuing as the Bluejays led 69-41. Yale was never able to make a sustained comeback. The Bluejays hit 53% of their shots (including 46% of their 3’s) whereas the Bulldogs hit 45% of theirs. Creighton outrebounded Yale 33-23 and held a 19-10 turnover advantage.

Creighton-83 (C Stephan Huss-21 pts, 7 reb; SG Gerrod Ward-17 pts; PF David Warley-16 pts, 9 reb; SF Andry Amaya-12 pts, 7 reb, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks;
Yale-64 (PF Kendrick Brown-14 pts; PG Jeremy Nelson-11 pts; C Chris Cobb-10 pts)

Creighton’s head coach Greg McDermott said, “This was a good team effort. Our guys played well on both ends of the court.”

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4 hours ago, t8rtot said:

Mississippi State should've been in this. smh

Yeah, the tournament committee may have been a little harsh on the SEC.    😛


I could hear the grumbles coming from Starkville.

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3 hours ago, chowderhead9 said:

This is great -- still following along.

Muchas Gracias!  Figured you'd like the  Creighton game, at least.  We'll soon see who they have to go up against in Round 2.

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South Region--Round 1 (part 2 of 4)

#3 seed Oregon Ducks (24-7) vs #14 seed Vermont Catamounts (26-7)

Oregon took 6-0 and 10-2 leads before Vermont narrowed the gap to 2 points, but then the Ducks began to streak and with 7-1/2 minutes remaining in the half were ahead 28-13 led by PF Tyler Payne’s 9 points. The half ended with Oregon seemingly well in control with a 47-33 advantage. Both teams were hitting over 50% of their shots, but Vermont was unable to compete on the boards and had 10 turnovers. Payne’s 13 points led all scorers. Vermont’s scoring was topped by reserve PG David Collins who scored 8 points in 9 minutes of play.

In the 2nd half, the avalanche continued. Oregon expanded their lead to 20 points with 15 minutes left in the game and 30 with 9 minutes remaining and then 40 with 2-1/2 minutes on the clock. Oregon outshot Vermont 55% to 40%, held a 30-21 rebounding advantage, and forced the Catamounts to make 24 turnovers while making just 8 themselves. The Ducks scored 44 points in the paint, 16 second chance shots, and 10 points on fast breaks.

Oregon-93 (PF Tyler Payne-29 pts, 5 reb; PF/C Clarence Crosby-16 pts, 12 reb; SG Travis Murray-11 pts, 9 assists, 3 steals, 1 block)
Vermont-56 (SF Al Waters-14 pts)

#4 seed Maryland Terrapins (24-7) vs #13 seed UC Irvine Anteaters (21-11)

UC Irvine led 16-12 midway through the half as defense dominated on both ends of the court. The Anteaters lead grew to 7 before Maryland trimmed it in the last few minutes of the half to make the score 29-27 as the teams went to the locker room. UC Irvine hit 37% of their shots but Maryland tossed in just 26% of their FG attempts. The Anteaters’ C Copley Robertson scored 10 points while Maryland was led by SG Zack Hayes 9 points.

Maryland took a 2 point lead with 16-1/2 minutes to go. The lead lurched back and forth from thereon. With 2:30 on the clock, UC Irvine’s PG Mark Collins sunk a 3 to put the Anteaters back on top at 65-63. Maryland’s SF Antwan Allen tied the game on their next possession and took the lead when they intercepted a pass and SG Barry Lightfoot intercepted a pass and hit PG Cory Williams for a driving layup with 2 minutes left. Maryland then took advantage of sloppy play by UC Irvine to pull away. Although UC Irvine outshot Maryland 50% to 41% and out-rebounded the Terrapins 38-28, they made 22 turnovers compared to just 9 by Maryland.

Maryland-78 (SG Zack Hayes-27 pts, 7 reb, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks; C Jon Asbury-10 pts)
UC Irvine-67 (SG Mark Masters-19 pts; C Copley Robertson-18 pts, 5 reb)

Maryland’s coach Mark Turgeon said, “We did our best to just hang with UC Irvine for most of the game. But when it counted we came through in the last few minutes of the game. Zack Hayes had a phenomenal game for us.”

“My guys played hard the entire way but I think we just ran out of gas in those final minutes and made some mistakes that caused us to get rattled,” said Russell Turner, the Anteaters coach.

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