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 matchup 501 times.
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.
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
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 out-rebounded by 12 (36-24) in their opening-round matchup.
The Wolf Pack 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-a-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 Wolf Pack advance with a 75-73 win.
Player of the game: Kirk Snyder (19 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST)
Winning percentage of 501 simulations: '04 Nevada 51.3 percent -'10 Cornell 48.7 percent
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