2012 College Basketball Playoff: Cinderella Madness

Results from the 2012 College Basketball Playoff Simulation

1
16
'11 Butler
'06 Bradley
68
70
8
9
'07 UNLV
'06 Wichita St.
71
63
4
13
'11 VCU
'10 N. Iowa
67
63
5
12
'04 Xavier
'05 Milwaukee
72
70
3
14
'08 Davidson
'11 Richmond
73
66
6
11
'10 St. Mary's
'08 W. Kentucky
76
75
7
10
'10 Cornell
'04 Nevada
73
74
2
15
'06 Geo. Mason
'04 UAB
71
65
16
8
'06 Bradley
'07 UNLV
4
5
'11 VCU
'04 Xavier
3
6
'08 Davidson
'10 St. Mary's
10
2
'04 Nevada
'06 Geo. Mason

WhatIfSports.com and CollegeHoops.net have partnered up to bring you Cinderella Madness 2012.

This college basketball simulation tournament features 16 of the most memorable Cinderella stories from the past eight seasons. We invited teams outside the Big Six conferences, seeded 7th or lower that advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond in their bracket to participate.

Utilizing our award-winning college basketball simulation engine, we "played" each match-up 501 times.

Play Hoops Dynasty -- the best college football game on the web.
Team Logo
Team Logo
1
16
'11 Butler
'06 Bradley
68
70
2010-11 Butler: No Gordon Hayward but Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard were back as key figures for the Bulldogs, who also relied on tough defender Ronald Nored at the point. After a three-game losing streak that culminated with a 62-60 loss at Youngstown State on February 3rd, Butler would reel off 14 straight wins to reach the title game for the second straight season. The Bulldogs relied on a stout defense and timely shooting to make their run, with Howard's bucket as time expired beating Old Dominion to set up a third round matchup with top seed Pittsburgh. But the good fortune ran out in the title game, where the Bulldogs shot the lowest percentage for a finalist in the modern era.

2005-06 Bradley: Jim Les' alma mater was one of the more surprising entries into the tournament field in 2006 as they boasted a pedestrian 11-7 mark in MVC play. But the Braves got hot at the right time, winning seven straight to reach the MVC tournament final, with the seventh win being a 60-52 triumph over regular season champ Wichita State. They'd rebound from a loss to Southern Illinois to beat Kansas and Pittsburgh thanks in part to two performances from Patrick O'Bryant that likely cemented his status as a lottery pick. O'Bryant was one of four Bradley players to average double figures with the high-flying Marcellus Sommerville leading the way. Bradley had an RPI of 29 and a strength of schedule of 61, likely bolstered by the overall strength of the MVC. Bradley's season ended in the Sweet 16, where the team fell 80-64 to top-seeded Memphis.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

Butler's Howard was known for his scrappy play, oversized t-shirt under the jersey and, at times, proud proprietor of upper lip whiskers that understandably required a Facebook fan page.

He averaged 14.8 points per game during the Bulldogs' run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, but in our Cinderella Madness opening round, Howard was M.I.A. The big man scored six points (1-7 FG) in 29 minutes as Bradley renewed their run in the opening round of Cinderella Madness.

Mack (20 points) led the first half charge as the Bulldogs built an eight point lead with six minutes to go before the half. Bradley's Sommerville rallied the Braves and tied the game before Chase Stigall buried a three-ball as the halftime buzzer sounded.

Mack's bucket two minutes into the second half boosted Butler's lead back to seven, 37-30. But, over the next eight minutes, Bradley rattled off a 19-9 run and took a 49-46 lead.

With four minutes and change on the clock, and still trailing by three, Butler's Zach Hahn buried a triple from the right wing to tie the game up at 59. A couple possession's later, Tony Bennett (12 points) knocked down a jumper to give the Braves the lead for good. Bradley converted their free throws down the stretch to upset the top seed 70-66.

Player of the game: Patrick O'Bryant (18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '06 Bradley 57.9% - '11 Butler 42.1%
Team Logo
Team Logo
8
9
'07 UNLV
'06 Wichita St.
71
63
2006-07 UNLV: The three-guard lineup that Lon Kruger was able to rely on was a special trio, made up of his son Kevin, Wink Adams and Wendell White on the wing. All three averaged between 13.5 and 14.4 points per game, and White was also the team's leading rebounder. Gaston Essengue and Joel Anthony were called on for defense and rebounding and reserves such as Curtis Terry and Joe Darger not only understood but carried out their assigned roles. After beating BYU to win the Mountain West's automatic bid, the Runnin' Rebels beat Georgia Tech and Wisconsin before falling to Oregon in the Sweet 16.

2005-06 Wichita State: Mark Turgeon's Shockers went 14-4 in league play to win the Missouri Valley regular season crown, an accomplishment that made them a lock to be one of the four teams from the league to earn NCAA bids. But while the traditionalists and pundits complained, the Shockers went to work, whipping Seton Hall thanks to a three-point barrage and then knocking off Tennessee to reach the Sweet 16. Paul Miller and Sean Ogirri (whose afro gained a lot of attention) led four starters in double figures for Wichita State, with Miller, P.J. Couisnard and Kyle Wilson being the best rebounders as well. Wichita State fell to George Mason in the Sweet 16.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

The Missouri Valley Conference has produced its share of fairy tales on the hardwood, but there will be no glass slipper for the Shockers in Cinderella Madness. The vaunted trinity of Adams, Kruger and White blasted the scoreboard for 47 points, and the Runnin' Rebels kept the Wichita State bench at bay in UNLV's first-round 69-62 victory.

Down four at half, the Shockers kept it close in the onset of the second half, trailing by just two with 15 minutes to go. Alas, the Rebels went on a 13-4 run (with six points coming from guard Michael Umeh) that proved too arduous of a task to overcome for Turgeron's squad.

White's versatility as swingman correlated into a game-high 22 points, and his prowess on the glass led to a team-best nine boards. While UNLV let Miller, Ogirri and Karon Bradley stuff the stat sheet (the three combined for 43 points), no other Shocker was able to score more than six, and Wichita State shot less than 24 percent from beyond the arc. Current NBAer Anthony delivered an admirable defensive display in reserve, redirecting the flights of four errant shot attempts.

Player of the game: Wendell White (22 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '07 UNLV 78.8% - '06 Wichita State 21.2%
Team Logo
Team Logo
4
13
'11 VCU
'10 N. Iowa
67
63
2010-11 VCU: Shaka Smart's team was a veteran group led by Joey Rodriguez at the point and Jamie Skeen inside (he could also step out and knock down perimeter shots). Nine players played at least ten minutes per game for VCU, and their frenetic system would wreak havoc on teams not used to facing it. The Rams were just 12-6 in CAA play (good for 4th) but their SOS of 61 (RPI: 31) helped get them into the field. The victims: USC, Georgetown, Purdue (in what was likely the best offensive performance of the tournament by any team), Florida State and Kansas. VCU lost to Butler in the Final Four.

2009-10 Northern Iowa: While Ben Jacobson's Panthers will always be remember by the casual fan for Ali Farokhmanesh's shot to seal the second round win over Kansas, it must be known that UNI was an outstanding basketball team as well. The Panthers won the MVC by three games and went 6-3 against RPI Top 50 teams, meaning that this seed is likely an injustice. They weren't a high-powered offensive team but UNI had options, from Adam Koch and Jordan Eglseder to Farokhmanesh and Kwadzo Ahelegbe. The Panthers won all three of their MVC tournament games by 15 points or more, allowing an average of 44.0 points per game. They went on to beat UNLV and Kansas by a combined five points before falling to Michigan State in the Sweet 16.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

VCU utilized superior depth and bench play throughout their 2011 run to the Final Four. In a 94-76 drubbing of Purdue, for example, the VCU bench outscored their opponent 29 to five. The formula for success was replicated as the Rams squared off with their first-round adversary, the Northern Iowa Panthers.

VCU found itself in a 15-11 hole midway through the first half, but Skeen and super sub Brandon Rozzell combined to score 15 of the team's next 19 points and VCU enjoyed a 30-27 advantage at the break.

After pacing the Panthers with eight points in the early going, Farokhmanesh hit a scoring drought that lasted 28 minutes. Right on cue though, he connected on two three-pointers in just over one minute to erase a six-point Panthers deficit and tie the game at 61-61 with 2:44 remaining.

An exchange of baskets set up VCU's Rozzell for the game-winner, a 15-foot jumper with one second left. The Rams advanced with the 65-63 win.

Rozzell accounted for 19 of VCU's 23 bench points and Skeen added 14 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Farokhmanesh's 14 points (4-6 3FG) led Northern Iowa.

Player of the game: Brandon Rozzell (19 points, 2 steals)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '11 VCU 64.7% - '10 Northern Iowa 35.3%
Team Logo
Team Logo
5
12
'04 Xavier
'05 Milwaukee
72
70
2003-04 Xavier: The Xavier program bristles at being called a "mid-major" and rightfully so as the program has been a part of the national landscape for quite some time. Thad Matta, who is now the head coach at Ohio State, had an outstanding group at his fingertips and they fell just short of the Final Four. Lionel Chalmers and Romain Sato led the way on the perimeter while Anthony Myles was their most dependable option inside. Justin Doellman was the big suited for the pick-and-pop game while Justin Cage was another banger in the paint. The Musketeers took out Louisville, Mississippi State and Texas before falling to Duke by three in the regional final.

2004-05 UW-Milwaukee: Bruce Pearl's final team at Milwaukee before he took the Tennessee job was his best, as the Panthers won 26 games and made their first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. Milwaukee won the Horizon League with a 14-2 mark thanks in large part to the play of Ed McCants and Joah Tucker. Boo Davis was the other starter averaging double figures for the Panthers, who entered the tournament on a nine-game win streak. Once in the Big Dance, Milwaukee scored 83 points in each of their first two games, wins over Alabama and Boston College. But they fell by a score of 73-63 to an Illinois team that would go on to the national title game.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

Considering the coaching success Matta and Pearl enjoyed following their tenures at Xavier and Milwaukee, it's no surprise this game came down to a tale of two halves.

The Musketeers' 16-point lead at the break is a bit deceiving when you consider the Panthers only trailed by five just four minutes earlier. Led by Sato and Cage, Xavier ripped off a 12-1 run to finish out the first 20 minutes.

Unfortunately for X, their hot hands didn't carry over to the second stanza. The Panthers outscored their first-round opponent 23-6, obliterating the deficit and taking a 52-51 lead with a little more than 10 minutes remaining.

Both teams dealt with long scoring droughts the rest of the way, but the Musketeers managed to open up a seven point lead with less than 60 seconds to play after Justin Doellman connected on a turnaround jumper from the block.

Chucks from the charity stripe put this game away. Xavier survived and advanced 73-71.

Player of the game: Romain Sato (16 points, 9 rebounds)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '04 Xavier 58.9% - '05 UW-Milwaukee 41.1%
Team Logo
Team Logo
3
14
'08 Davidson
'11 Richmond
73
66
2007-08 Davidson: Stephen Curry received the bulk of the praise and rightfully so, as one of the country's premier shooters was hot throughout the season for Bob McKillop's Wildcats. But it would be wise to also point out the role of point guard Jason Richards, who averaged 8.1 assists per game. He and Curry were the lone double-digit scorers for a team that swept through the Southern Conference (20-0 record) and then knocked off Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to reach the regional final. The dream would end there however, as a last-second shot missed the mark against Kansas.

2010-11 Richmond: Chris Mooney's Spiders didn't have the greatest strength of schedule (117) but they went 13-3 in the tough Atlantic 10 and won the league's automatic bid. Led by Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper, the Spiders were hot at the right time, entering the tournament having won eight in a row and 12 of their last 13 games. From there, Richmond edged out Vanderbilt by three and limited Morehead State to 48 points in a 17-point victory. But they wouldn't have enough firepower to beat top-seeded Kansas, who handed the Spiders a 77-57 whipping. Richmond finished the season second in the A-10 in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense, which helped make up for their being out-rebounded by an average of 2.1 rebounds per game.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

Defensive temerity may have been the calling card of the '10-11 Spiders, yet Cinderella Madness is a whole 'nother ballgame compared to A-10 play. Despite their aptitude on D, Richmond was eradicated by the Wildcats' robust shooting percentage, as Davidson nailed nearly half their shots from the field on the way to a 76-67 triumph.

The Spiders appeared in control for most of the second half thanks to a 10-0 run coming out of the locker room. Unfortunately, Richmond's eight-point lead vanished within minutes as Curry and the Wildcats unleashed a blitzkrieg from beyond the arc. Highlighted by a 21-7 run, Davidson found itself with a seven-point advantage with less than 75 seconds to spare. Curry and Richards sealed the deal from the charity stripe, advancing the Southern Conference champs to the second round.

The All-American Curry's downtown dexterity (5-for-9 on three-pointers) and flawlessness at the free-throw line (10-for-10) fueled the Wildcats. Andrew Lovedale submitted a solid performance at both ends of the floor, hauling in eight boards to go along with 14 points, and Richards helped spread the wealth with six dimes while pouring in 18 points of his own. Harper recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort for Richmond.

Player of the game: Stephen Curry (29 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '08 Davidson 75.4% - '11 Richmond 24.6%
Team Logo
Team Logo
6
11
'10 St. Mary's
'08 W. Kentucky
76
75
2009-10 Saint Mary's: Randy Bennett's Gaels boasted a heavy Australian influence but they didn't have to travel far to recruit their most recognizable star. Big man Omar Samhan led the way to the Sweet 16 for Saint Mary's, whose run truly began at the WCC tournament in Las Vegas. The Gaels won the automatic bid, which was needed in light of an SOS of 116, by beating rival Gonzaga 81-62. The confidence gained in that win played a role in victories over Richmond and Villanova. Matthew Dellavedova and Mickey McConnell ran the show on the perimeter while Ben Allen proved to be a capable sidekick alongside Samhan. Unfortunately for Saint Mary's they ran into the worst possible matchup in the Sweet 16, and their season ended at the hands of the Baylor Bears.

2007-08 Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers may have been a 12-seed in the Big Dance but there's no mistaking the fact that they had players that could give teams fits. Courtney Lee averaged 20.4 points per game for the Hilltoppers, who entered the NCAA tournament having won six straight and 17 of their last 18 games. But it took a Ty Rogers three as time expired to beat Drake in the first round, and WKU followed that up with a win over San Diego to make its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1993. In addition to Lee and Rogers, there was Tyrone Brazelton, a good point guard who also averaged more than 14 points per game. WKU's run was ended by top-seeded UCLA in Phoenix.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

In three 2010 NCAA tournament contests, the 6'11", 265-pound Samhan averaged 25.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Fittingly, he helped Saint Mary's narrowly escape Western Kentucky with, you guessed it, 25 points and nine boards.

The Hilltoppers countered with a two-headed offensive attack featuring Lee and Brazelton. The duo combined to average 47.0 points per game during their 2008 Sweet 16 run. In the first half against the Gaels, their 18 collective points helped the Hilltoppers to a 36-30 advantage at intermission.

Western Kentucky maintained their lead until a jump shot by Ben Allen put Saint Mary's ahead 62-61 with less than six minutes remaining in the game. The margin grew to 74-71 on a pair of Beau Levesque free throws with 20 seconds left. Though the Hilltoppers were able to manage three attempts to tie the game, none connected.

Saint Mary's lost the rebounding battle 32-27, but connected on 19 of 21 free throws and turned the ball over four fewer times. Lee and Brazelton each scored 21 points for Western Kentucky.

Player of the game: Omar Samhan (25 points, 9 rebounds)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '10 Saint Mary's 53.1% - '08 Western Kentucky 46.9%
Team Logo
Team Logo
7
10
'10 Cornell
'04 Nevada
73
74
2009-10 Cornell: The third of Steve Donahue's Ivy League champion teams was the best, and the Big Red would show that in decisive wins over Temple and Wisconsin. Surprisingly enough, Cornell's lone league defeat would come at the hands of a Penn squad that would go on to finish the season 6-22, and from that point on the Big Red went on to win nine straight before falling to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Ryan Wittman was the leading scorer while seven-footer Jeff Foote and guard Louis Dale also averaged double figures, and nine players would play at least 10.7 minutes per game.

2003-04 Nevada: Mark Fox's Wolf Pack were the class of the WAC throughout the 2003-04 season, and led by wing Kirk Snyder Nevada would win 26 games before falling to Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16. But Snyder wasn't alone as the versatile Nick Fazekas had the ability to score either inside or out, and Todd Okeson was a more than capable sidekick on the perimeter. All five starters averaged at least 9.4 points per game, and their NCAA tournament wins would come at the expense of Michigan State and Gonzaga. Nevada averaged a shade less than 76 points per game and shot 45 percent from the field while limiting opponents to 41 percent shooting.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

At the time of publication, only two NCAA basketball programs were shooting over 50 percent as a team in 2011-2012 (Creighton/Missouri). Cornell allowed Nevada to shoot 52.6 percent from the floor (30-57 FG) and were outrebounded by 12 (36-24) in their opening round matchup.

The Wolfpack were in prime position to knock the Big Red out in the first half with a firestorm of hot shooting, but Dale drilled back-to-back three pointers followed by a Foote floater in the lane to keep the game within reach.

The story of the second half was a six and half minute stretch of uninterrupted action. Nevada outscored Cornell 15-7 during that stampede and led by eight in the game's final minutes. Jon Jacques' three-pointer would pull Cornell within two, but Andy Bernard's alma mater could get no closer.

The Wolfpack advance with a 75-73 win.

Player of the game: Kirk Snyder (19 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '04 Nevada 51.3% - '10 Cornell 48.7%
Team Logo
Team Logo
2
15
'06 Geo. Mason
'04 UAB
71
65
2005-06 George Mason: Jim Larranaga's team lost to Hofstra in the semis of the CAA tournament (their second loss to Hofstra in less than two weeks), and few had them on the radar for an at-large bid. But not only did George Mason get in, they took full advantage of their second chance, beating three of the sport's great programs in the process. Victims included Michigan State and North Carolina, followed by Wichita State (who they beat in a BracketBusters battle that many saw as the reason for their at-large bid) and a loaded UConn squad. Jai Lewis and Tony Skinn led a team that boasted all five starters averaging double figures, and their run was ended by eventual two-time national champ Florida.

2003-04 UAB: Mike Anderson's Blazers were one of the more surprising at-large selections given the fact that they lost in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament to DePaul. And they made sure to take advantage of the opportunity with a wildly entertaining brand of basketball, winning action-packed games over Washington (102-100) and top-seed Kentucky (76-75) to reach the Sweet 16. Morris Finley led three starters in double figures with an average of 13.9 points per game, and three other players averaged at least 7.4 points per game. Two of them were twins Donell and Ronell Taylor, who combined for one of the signature plays of the tournament in a win over UK with a length of the floor, backwards pass that resulted in a dunk. And there was also point guard Squeaky Johnson, who led the team in assists and was an absolute pest in UAB's full-court defense. The magic would run out in the Sweet 16 however, as they were pasted by Kansas.

-Raphielle Johnson, CollegeHoops.net

Game recap

It would have been apropos if one of the most celebrated longshots of all time was upended in a tournament comprised strictly of underdogs. Despite holding a 14-point lead at halftime, this fate was almost met by the Patriots. Fortuitously (at least for the George Mason faithful), a furious late-game charge by the Blazers fell just short, as UAB was sent packing with a 72-63 loss.

With six players accounting for 191 of the available 200 minutes, it's easy to understand the lethargic play from George Mason in the later stages of the contest, serving as a platform for the Blazers' run. A 16-5 stretch in favor of UAB tied the game at 55 with just six minutes remaining. Unfortunately, UAB was undone by poor shooting, hitting just 20 percent of trey balls on the night and an unimpressive 36.3 percent from the field, and George Mason's unrelenting pounding in the post was enough to earn the Patriots a pass to the next round.

Will Thomas paced the Pats with 29 points and nine boards, with Lewis submitting a sound performance of eight points, 12 boards and five assists. The Blazers finished with four players scoring in double-digits. If George Mason holds aspirations for an extended tournament run, their woes at the charity stripe (51.7 percent) will need to be alleviated.

Player of the game: Will Thomas (29 points, 9 rebounds)

Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '06 George Mason 73.5% - '04 UAB 26.5%
Simulation Info
Related Basketball Features

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.