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.