Cinderella Quarterfinals: '08 Davidson vs '10 Saint Mary's
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 BCS conferences, seeded 7th or lower that advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond. Teams were seeded 1 through 16 and then games were simulated using WhatIfSports.com's award-winning college basketball simulation engine. Each match was "played" 501 times.
In the First Round, '08 Davidson eased past '11 Richmond while '10 Saint Mary's barely avoided an upset loss to '08 WKU.
Quarterfinals: 2007-08 Davidson vs 2009-10 Saint Mary's
In the annals of hoops, mere mortals have transcended into hardwood heroes with courageous exploits in the most maddening of moments. Steve Kerr in Game Six of the '97 Finals. Ali Farokhmanesh's cojones-filled bomb against Kansas in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Ollie's free throws versus the Wildcats in Hoosiers. Add Thomas Sander's jumper in Cinderella Madness to the list, as the glue man's conquest gave Davidson a 79-77 W over St. Mary's.
The Gaels looked to put the game out of reach early, surmounting a 15-point lead in the first half. But the Wildcats responded with vigor, raining an army of treys before heading into the locker room to cut their deficit to five. From that juncture, both teams traded punches, with neither band able to pull away from the other. Steph Curry was unleashing his usual carnage, this time to the tune of 25 points and eight rebounds, but St. Mary's big man Omar Samhan was going toe-for-toe with the sharpshooter, pouring in 18 points of his own to go with 11 boards.
Enter Sander, a senior with solid, if not spectacular, averages of 7.5 points and 4.8 boards in the 2007-2008 season. With the score tied at 77 after a Ben Allen jumper from the top of the key, Jason Richards found Sander wide open in the corner, undoubtedly a byproduct of the Gaels' attention to Curry, and he nailed the shot, sending Davidson into the Final Four. Not only did Sander clinch the victory, but he posted an overall superb performance of 15 points and five boards. Somewhere, Robert Horry is smiling.
Player of the game: Stephen Curry (25 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals)
Winning Percentage of 501 Simulations: '08 Davidson 62.3% - '10 Saint Mary's 37.7%
Game Recap: Davidson 78 - Saint Mary's 74 (Boxscore)
More Cinderalla Madness with the complete bracket.