College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Championship Series

It was nearly two weeks ago that our podcast team held a three-team ‘dream team’ draft, creating the best teams they could based on the 2019-2020 college basketball season.

Nathaniel’s team, dubbed “Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors” picked some of the top scorers in college basketball, largely foregoing defense in order to build a dynamic offense. 10 of his 12 players get regular playing time, and four of them come from mid-major schools, including NC A&T’s Kameron Langley, who led the league with 7.4 assists per game. Nathaniel selected “Do the John Wall” as his victory song, and he played his home games at Cameron Indoor Stadium of the Duke Blue Devils.

Andrew named his team “Andrew’s Anteaters’, and he went with the ‘best player available’ strategy. While Nathaniel hunted for the top scoring leaders to try and beat the simulation, Andrew simply took who he felt were the best players in college basketball. The strategy worked well, as Andrew accumulated a roster that included Kansas’s Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike, and Iowa’s Luka Garza – all Wooden Award Finalists – along with Bob Cousy award winner Payton Pritchard. Throwing in Yoeli Childs of BYU, Andrew’s team populated the statistical leaderboards, with Luka Garza leading the way at 20.8 points per game. His victory song is “Position to Win” by Migos, and he’s heard that one played a few times, while playing at UNC’s Dean Smith Center.

Cal took Tyler Hagedorn of South Dakota with his final pick of the draft, and he took some heat for taking a relatively unknown player, so he responded by naming his team “Cal’s South Dakota Sunrise”, with a victory song of “Here Comes the Sun”. Although he went 0-4 against Andrew, Cal salvaged his record by taking 3 of 4 from Nathaniel. He was led by his strong rebounders, with John Mooney of Notre Dame and Dayton’s Obi Toppin finishing 1-2 on the leaderboard. Mooney averaged 14.5 boards per game, while Toppin notched 10.8 rebounds per game. Cal attends Syracuse, and he thus played his home games in the Carrier Dome.

Andrew dominated the regular season with a 6-2 record, sweeping Cal in four contests, while winning all four games on his home court. He claimed the regular season title and a bye to the championship round.

Cal and Nathaniel both went 3-5, with Cal owning the head-to-head tiebreaker for the rights to host the best-of-three playoff series. However, Nathaniel’s offense flexed its muscles by putting up 146 points in Game 1 to claim an easy road victory. Hosting game 2, Nathaniel and Cal battled it out in an epic double-overtime duel, but the Mid-Majors survived, winning 160-150 after two extra periods of basketball. Nathaniel expressed a lot of confidence after the game with his team’s victory:

“We felt good about taking care of business and look forward to the challenge of taking on the Anteaters. We really saw the first round as more of a tune-up series, and that’s what it was. Taught our players how to play under pressure. It was great practice”, Nathaniel commented.

Asked about his team’s loss and to preview the championship series, Cal kept it brief: “I show that team little to no respect. Andrew in 3”.

The championship series enters Game 4 today, with Andrew leading 2 games to 1. Nathaniel engineered a huge comeback to avoid elimination on his home court yesterday, and he’ll hope to do the same in Game 4 to force things back to the Dean Smith Center for a winners-take-all game 5.

College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Day 3: Results, Stats, and Leaderboard

In Day 3 of the College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League, Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors rebounded from a winless day 2 to win both contests in day 3, squeaking out a 116-113 win over Cal’s Sunrise on the road and holding off Andrew’s Anteaters in a 139-130 offensive showcase. Andrew took down Cal 116-100 in the other game, maintaining their grip on first place. Jordan Nwora and Markus Howard had big days to help out Nathaniel’s resurgence.

Andrew sits at 4-2, while Nathaniel leapfrogged Cal into second place at 3-3, and Cal is a game further behind at 2-4 heading into the final day of regular season action. Below is each team’s stats and the leaderboard for four major categories.

NDL

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Jordan Nwora (165)97 516
Vernon Carey (154)94 536
Markus Howard (137)120 2116
Anthony Lamb (134)108 4321
Kameron Langley (127)542043
Jermaine Marrow (114)64 917
Kira Lewis (89)52  1314
Jhivvan Jackson (108)74  2910
Killian Tillie (71)30175
Xavier Tillman (89)36  5110
Tre Jones (9)112
Zavier Simpson (2)011


Andrew

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Payton Pritchard (174)943335
Luka Garza (151)139 5415
Devon Dotson (168)117 1542
Devin Vassell (122)562914
Udoka Azubuike (126)84 574
Jalen Smith (89)38 346
Ayo Dosunmu (133)59 2028
Isaac Okoro (79)26 912
Jordan Ford (24)1212
Daniel Oturu (19)970
Yoeli Childs (101) 91 485
Saddiq Bey (14) 031

Cal

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Obi Toppin (204)118 7318
John Mooney (196)81 9612
Cole Anthony (150)93  2315
Myles Powell (152)90 2823
Cassius Winston (164)75 1127
Malachi Flynn (129)70 2831
Anthony Edwards (103)78 218
Jared Butler (22)10 42
Elijah Hughes (63)51 117
Michael Devoe (4)000
Cassius Stanley (4)001
Tyler Hagedorn (9)21

LEADERBOARD

Points

PlayerPoints
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)139
Markus Howard (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)120
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)118

Rebounds

PlayerRebounds
John Mooney (Cal’s Sunrise)96
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)73
Udoka Azubuike (Andrew’s Anteaters)57

Assists

PlayerAssists
Kameron Langley  (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)43
Devon Dotson (Andrew’s Anteaters)42
Payton Pritchard (Andrew’s Anteaters)35

Efficiency Rating

PlayerEfficiency Rating
Yoeli Childs (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.43
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.38
Anthony Lamb (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.28
Markus Howard (tied) (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.15
Udoka Azubuike (tied) (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.15

College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Day 2: Garza dominates, Andrew goes 2-0

In day 2 of our dream league, Andrew’s Anteaters continued their resurgence from an opening loss to dominate Cal’s Sunrise on the road, 117-100 before holding serve at home, 132-120 versus Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors, improving to 3-1 and taking sole possession of 1st place. Luka Garza continues to dominate for Andrew, averaging 22.5 points per game so far.

Cal rebounded in the nightcap by taking down Nathaniel, 128-122, as his big-man duo of Obi Toppin and John Mooney has been difficult to stop in the paint.

Below are each team’s individual stats and the leaderboard for all the major categories at the halfway point of our regular season.

NDL

PlayerPointsReboundsAssists
Jordan Nwora (112)59 323
Vernon Carey (103)56305
Markus Howard (99)81 1.071411
Anthony Lamb (87)67  1.243011
Kameron Langley (86)39 1229
Jermaine Marrow (73)44 612
Kira Lewis (59)33710
Jhivvan Jackson (68)45 1.04197
Killian Tillie (49)24 122
Xavier Tillman (52)  26 1.29347
Tre Jones (9)112
Zavier Simpson (2)011


Andrew

PlayerPointsReboundsAssists
Payton Pritchard (114)622123
Luka Garza (101)90  1.373711
Devon Dotson (113) 70   1131
Devin Vassell (83)47  208
Udoka Azubuike (85)51  1.07373
Jalen Smith (56)26233
Ayo Dosunmu (82)391520
Isaac Okoro (56)2056
Jordan Ford (20)612
Daniel Oturu (16)650
Yoeli Childs (63) 61    1.52332
Saddiq Bey (11) 031

Cal

PlayerPointsReboundsAssists
Obi Toppin (141)84  1.035011
John Mooney (129)65 1.08668
Cole Anthony (98)551212
Myles Powell (103)622117
Cassius Winston (113)50 918
Malachi Flynn (89)54 1.042118
Anthony Edwards (64)54 1.08105
Jared Butler (19)721
Elijah Hughes (41)2966
Michael Devoe (1)000
Cassius Stanley (1)000
Tyler Hagedorn (1)000

LEADERBOARD

Points

PlayerPoints
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)90
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)84
Markus Howard (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)81

Rebounds

PlayerRebounds
John Mooney (Cal’s Sunrise)66
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)50
Luka Garza, Udoka Azubuike (Andrew’s Anteaters)37

Assists

PlayerAssists
Devon Dotson (Andrew’s Anteaters)31
Kameron Langley  (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)29
Payton Pritchard (Andrew’s Anteaters)23

Efficiency Rating

PlayerEfficiency Rating
Yoeli Childs (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.52
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.37
Xavier Tillman (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.28
Anthony Lamb (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.24
John Mooney, Anthony Edwards (Cal’s Sunrise)1.08

College Kids Talking College Sports Dream League Day 1: Stats and Leaderboard

The home team prevailed in each of our first three contests, so each team finished Day 1 with a 1-1 record. It’s become clear that picking up road wins will be difficult and obtaining the top seed, which hosts the championship series is pivotal.

MVP OF DAY 1: Obi Toppin (46 points, 23 rebounds)

Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors (1-1)

PPG: 116
Victory Song: “Do the John Wall” – Troop 41

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Jordan Nwora (53)30192
Vernon Carey (51) 27163
Markus Howard (51) 4095
Anthony Lamb (45) 31183
Kameron Langley (43)22215
Jermaine Marrow (32)2825
Kira Lewis (32)1946
Jhivvan Jackson (29) 15122
Killian Tillie (29)990
Xavier Tillman (24)  11132
Tre Jones (9)112
Zavier Simpson (2)011

Andrew’s Anteaters

PPG: 114.5
Victory Song:

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Payton Pritchard (55)31119
Luka Garza (51) 44198
Devon Dotson (54) 34615
Devin Vassell (42)20104
Udoka Azubuike (43)22181
Jalen Smith (25)17111
Ayo Dosunmu (32)1068
Isaac Okoro (29)1026
Jordan Ford (19)612
Daniel Oturu (15)640
Yoeli Childs (25) 29150
Saddiq Bey (10) 031

Cal’s South Dakota Sunrise (1-1)

PPG: 116
Victory Song: “Here Comes The Sun” – The Beatles

Player (Minutes Played)PointsReboundsAssists
Obi Toppin (70)46234   
John Mooney (65)28283
Cole Anthony (50)287
Myles Powell (49)2510
Cassius Winston (57)26513 
Malachi Flynn (46)2815 10 
Anthony Edwards (25)327
Jared Butler (18)721
Elijah Hughes (20)1223
Michael Devoe (0)000
Cassius Stanley (0)000
Tyler Hagedorn (0)000

STATISTICAL LEADERBOARD

Points

PlayerPoints
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)46
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)44
Markus Howard (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)40

Rebounds

PlayerRebounds
John Mooney (Cal’s Sunrise)28
Obi Toppin (Cal’s Sunrise)23
Luka Garza, Jordan Nwora (Andrew, Nathaniel)19

Assists

PlayerAssists
Kameron Langley (Tied) (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)15
Devon Dotson (Tied) (Andrew’s Anteaters)15
Cassius Winston (Cal’s Sunrise)13

Efficiency Rating

PlayerEfficiency Rating
Yoeli Childs (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.76
Anthony Edwards (Cal’s Sunrise)1.6
Luka Garza (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.39
Anthony Lamb (Tied) (Nathaniel’s Mid-Majors)1.16
Jalen Smith (Tied) (Andrew’s Anteaters)1.16

2020 March Madness Simulation Starts Final Four on Saturday

After 8 days of simulation, we reached the conclusion of our Elite Eight, and starting Saturday evening, we will play out our Final Four, with the national championship on Monday night. How did we get here? And who is going home with the title? Let’s find out. 

South Region – 3. Duke

Duke’s road to the Final Four was made possible by a series of upsets in the top half of the bracket that took out many of their top challengers. Between #1 overall seed Kansas, 2019 Final Four member Auburn, and a strong Maryland squad, it didn’t appear to be a favorable road for Duke. However, courtesy of 13th-seeded Vermont and 9th-seeded Wichita State, all three of those teams were gone by the Sweet 16 making Duke the favorite. 

The Blue Devils had no issues in their opener, opening up a 14-point lead on Northern Kentucky and never saw that lead dip below twelve in the final twenty minutes, winning 76-54. Their Round of 32 battle was much more challenging, as Ohio State looked primed to pull off the upset. The #6 Buckeyes led by 10 with five minute to go, but a late Duke charge forced overtime, where the Blue Devils took over, holding Ohio State to four overtime points and winning 107-102. 

In the Sweet 16, Duke was matched up against second-seeded San Diego State. The Aztecs were the higher seed, but the Blue Devils were the betting favorite, and they showed why, opening up a nine point lead at halftime and gradually squeezing out their mid-major opponent. San Diego State came within three at one point, but Duke stayed ahead and pulled away, winning 83-72. 

The Elite Eight rolled around and Duke got a very unexpected opponent in 13. Vermont. The Catamounts came brutally close to an upset last year of Florida State, and this year, helped along by Wichita’s upset of Kansas, they had rampaged through the top half of the bracket. They did the same to Duke in the early going, leading 50-37 at halftime and 62-50 with 12 minutes to play. The Blue Devils’ offense picked up, cutting the deficit to six with 8 minutes to play, and then five with four to go. With 2:54 to go, Trae Jones hit the first of his clutch shots, draining a triple to tie the score at 76-76. At 80-80, Duke got the ball with 33 seconds to go and the shot clock off. The Blue Devils let the clock drain before getting the ball to Jones who knocked down the game winner with a buttery step-back jumper. It wasn’t over, as Vermont connected on a full court pass and was fouled on the layup, but they hit just one of two free throws, and Duke survived 82-81 to advance to the Final Four. 

West Region – 1. Kentucky

Kentucky looked nothing like a Final Four team for much of their tournament, as they have truly embodied the ‘survive and advance’ method. Even in the first round, against #16 Siena, the Wildcats only opened up a 6-point halftime advantage, and Siena was as close as four in the second half before Kentucky pulled away to win 87-70. In the Round of 32, the Wildcats looked dead in the water, down twelve to Arizona at half and being outplayed for much of the game. But Arizona never pulled away, and Kentucky pulled back to force overtime, and then Immanuel Quickley hit a runner at the buzzer and Kentucky advanced, 86-85. 

Kentucky got what should have been a welcome gift in the Sweet 16, getting to face #12 Eastern Tennessee State instead of defending national champion Virginia or powerhouse Villanova. However, the game was anything but easy for the Wildcats, who tussled back and forth before hitting another buzzer-beater, this one courtesy of Tyrese Maxes, in a 78-76 win. Their Elite Eight contest was actually probably Kentucky’s best game, or at least their best half, as after trailing Seton Hall by three at half, the Wildcats stormed back to take a 12-point lead. After the Pirates cut it to six, Kentucky held Myles Powell’s squad to just one layup in the final four minutes, winning 80-71 to earn a match-up with Duke in the Final Four.

East Region – 1. Dayton

Dayton had to deal with a lot of pressure as a first time one-seed and our #2 overall seed, but the Flyers handled it admirably, cruising through most of their opening weekend. Obi Toppin was held somewhat quiet by #16 NC Central in the first round, but it was all they could do to silence the AP Player of the Year, and virtually everyone else was open for Dayton, who cruised 77-55. In the Round of 32, Toppin scored 24, and Dayton led wire-to-wire and ended the surprising run of #9 Notre Dame, who made the tournament by virtue of a Cinderella run through the ACC Tournament.

 Dayton trailed for the first time in the Sweet 16, down by two at halftime to a massive underdog in #12 New Mexico State. Both offenses exploded in a thrilling second half, but Dayton couldn’t surge ahead, and the game went to overtime at 80-80. There, however, the Flyers claimed ten of the first eleven points in the period to seize control and take down the Aggies, 93-86. 

The Flyers played a somewhat strange Elite 8 contest against Florida State. They got off to a hot start and led throughout the first half, but the Seminoles narrowed the gap to five points at the break. With 12 to go, Dayton hadn’t surrendered the lead, still up two points. At the Under-4 timeout, Dayton still led by four, and at no point had Florida State so much as tied the game. But at the same time, Dayton didn’t lead by more than five points throughout the half. In the final minutes, the Seminoles came within one point several times, and a game-tying three rimmed out. Trey Landers had 21 and Dayton won an 88-85 game in which they never trailed and never led by more than two possessions in the final 35 minutes. 

Midwest Region – 3. Oregon

After a dicey first game, it’s been largely smooth sailing for Oregon, who did also benefit from the 1-seed in their region falling before the Elite Eight. The Ducks trailed at halftime in the first round to Eastern Washington, but they crawled back to take a small lead, icing the game when Pritchard executed a silky crossover and drilled a jumper for an 86-82 lead with 7 seconds left and the shot clock about to expire. Oregon advanced and got to face #11 Clemson in the Round of 32, but the Tigers never challenged the Ducks, who cruised 78-63, heading into the Sweet 16 with very little second-round drama. 

Against a strong Baylor team whose late-season slide cost them a #1 seed, the Ducks got an early advantage and then clung to a one-point lead at the break. Oregon got up by as many as eleven in the second half, before watching Baylor pull within 69-66 with 1:48 to play. The Bears didn’t score again, and the Ducks went 6-8 at the free throw line to close it out, advancing to the Elite Eight, 75-66. 

Against #4 Louisville, who upset #1 Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, Oregon got off to a horrific start, trailing 25-12 just twelve minutes into the game. However, the Ducks rebounded and ended the half on a 23-12 run to make it a 37-35 halftime deficit. They started the second half on an 8-0 run before the game settled into a tightly-fought battle, with Oregon leading 75-71 with four minutes to play. From there, the Ducks locked down once more, not allowing Louisville a single point in the final four minutes. They recorded two steals, forced two more turnovers, and blocked a shot while ending the game on an 8-0 run to win 83-71, forging on to the Final Four.

25% of our bracket entries still have a champion in the field, with Duke the only team that nobody picked out of the four remaining squads. Who’s bringing home the national title on Monday night?

2020 March Madness Simulation: Round of 64 set to start tomorrow

ESPN ran their somewhat predictable BPI simulation. They then followed it up with a wacky version where they took the 2,020th simulation and posted those results. Joe Lunardi is running his own “Twitter Tourney”, which is currently in the Sweet 16. With everyone doing their own simulations, we are introducing the most thorough one yet!

We’ve spent the last week simulating the remaining conference tournaments and creating a bracket based off those results. We’ve opened up our own bracket challenge, and it’s your last chance to get in on it! The winner will appear on our podcast and receive a T-shirt with our logo on it (not yet designed). 2nd place gets a T-Shirt. Message us on Instagram @College_Talking to get a copy of our bracket, fill it out, and send it in! Check out our Instagram page for the selection show if you have questions about how this bracket was created!