The 2-seeded Mid-American Conference (MAC) looked like a serious challenge to the 1-seed Big Ten, but a bad luck of the draw made them sweat out a 4-point win over the Ohio Valley Conference. The seeds are based on the conference ratings at www.kenpom.com, but the OVC was a huge threat with the second best NBA prospect in the country Ja Morant.
The MAC survived that tough draw and then took it out on the Horizon (see below), but the big surprise came when the Big Ten was the first 1-seed to fall in a thrilling back-and-forth that ended in CUSA advancing to play the MAC for the Midwest Title and a Final Four appearance. The one vulnerability of the great Ethan Happ (Big Ten, Wisconsin) did hurt down the stretch, as the 45% free throw shooter missed including one roll of "10" on the 20-sided dice which is a made free throw for anyone player who shot 50% or better from the line.
The entire bracket of all-conference teams is tracked here.
Stopping Ja Morant was tough in the 1st round game, but the MAC led by Buffalo stars found the Horizon League no challenge.
After announcing his bout with cancer, UVA legend Jeff Jones watched his old team team take the national title after coaching BJ Stith, the son of UVa's all-time leading scorer, and Old Dominion to a CUSA title and scrappy appearance against powerhouse Purdue. Purdue then almost knocked off UVa.
In the game, ODU's CUSA went through the entire Midwest Region without beating anyone by more than 10 points - including narrow upsets of the 1-seed Big Ten and then 2-seed Mid-American (MAC) led by Buffalo in the game below.
The Region championship in the game pitted them against the MAC, two teams that narrowly missed winning the actual live 3-on-3 all-conference championship - both losing to the eventual champion CAA by two points..
Repeating that real 3-on-3 title in the simulated full 5-on-5 March Madness we are playing out could prove even tougher. While the CAA won their first three games by an average of six points, their semifinal opponent is the ACC, which averaged winning their first three games by 21 points each.
Here is the scoresheet on their Midwest championship win over the MAC which put them in the Final Four.
To play your own game, click on the first 2 links for instructions and scoresheets, then pick two teams from any of the links below for player cards. You need only two 6-sided dice, a 20-sided die and an 8-sided die. The new improved scoresheets pictured resulted in games being played out in 30 to 35 minutes.
The Value Add Basketball Game simulates each players' ability to get the ball and get shots off, rebound, hit from the line and inside and outside the arc, dish out great assists, guard the ball, as well as steal and block shots adjusted for the level of competition they faced.
While we also calculated cards for every player who played at least 8 minutes a game for all 353 teams, we decided to start with a tournament pitting all 32 All-Conference teams during March Madness.