Simulation: Shockers escape with two-point win over Wolfpack in 2020 Tourney

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

We’re simulating the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, also known as the NCAA March Madness Tournament. With the sports world on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic – that included the loss of the Men’s Basketball Championship – we’ll simulate games until we have a winner.

In this matchup between 11 seeds, the Wichita State Shockers defeated the North Carolina Wolfpack, 79-77. The Shockers will advance to the next round of the tournament, where they will face the No. 6 seed Michigan Wolverines.

Wichita State Shockers guard Erik Stevenson dribbles the ball against the USF Bulls
Erik Stevenson dribbles the ball against the USF Bulls (Photo by the Wichita State Athletic Department)

With the virtual win, the Shockers would have improved to 24-8 on the season, including a two-game win streak. The virtual loss dropped the Wolfpack to 20-13 on the season in their final contest before the off-season.

Late in the contest, the game was tied at 55 all when Jamarius Burton made a free throw. Braxton Beverly then gave the Wolfpack a three-point lead with a 58-55 lead.

Burton cut the lead to 58-57 with a two-point basket. North Carolina responded with a basket by CJ Bryce to make it 60-57.

The game would then eventually get tied at 62 all when Tyson Etienne made a free throw. Wichita State went on a 7-2 run when Trey Wade made a three-pointer to go up 69-64.

Bryce tied the game at 69 all, before Wade broke the tie with a three-point basket for a 72-69 lead. The Wolfpack went on an 8-7 to end the game.

With the Shockers leading 79-77, Markell Johnson missed a two-point basket. D.J. Funderburk got the rebound and passed the ball back to Johnson, who then missed a three-point basket to end the game.

Wade and Erik Stevenson led the Shockers with 14 points each. Wade had also had three rebounds and one steal.

Stevenson had one assist, three rebounds, and two steals.

This virtual contest was Stevenson’s second straight double-digit game. On March 8th, he scored 18 points against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane after not having more than 10 points in three straight games.

This virtual game with 14 points for Wade was the first-time in four games that he had double-figures. His last double-digit game before this virtual contest was a 21-point performance on February 27th against the Temple Owls.

They were two of four Wichita State players, who scored in double-digits. Grant Sherfield contributed 11 and Jaime Echenique added 10.

Johnson led the Wolfpack with 21 points. He also had 11 assists, 1 rebound, and two steals.

He was one of three North Carolina State players, who scored in double-figures. Bryce added 18 and Devon Daniels scored 11.

Johnson scored his first 20-plus performance in this virtual contest in five games. His last real-life game with 20 or more points came on February 25, 2020 against the North Carolina Tar Heels when he had 21 points.

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