What’s happening? No. 9 seed Western Illinois is facing No. 8 seed Pepperdine in the opening round of the 2024 NCAA tournament in our ‘College Hoops 2K8’ sim. We’re going to watch the simulated game and live stream it on Twitch tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Where can I watch? My Twitch channel
Do I need to sign up for anything? No. You only have to create a free Twitch account if you want to comment in the live chat feature, which is always poppin’.
IF WE WIN: We face the winner of No. 1 seed Ohio State vs. No. 16 seed Hartford in the round of 32 tonight. We will sim and watch the round of 32 game shortly after the buzzer in the first round should we defeat Louisville.
So no one is controlling the teams? That’s correct. I only do the recruiting and set the coaching strategies for Western Illinois. We are watching a simulated game.
ALSO SIGN UP FOR THE BRACKET CONTEST
Yes, we’re running a bracket contest for the second straight season. I have good news and bad news on that: we had so many entries that it crashed the app Sean built for us. Fortunately, Sean came up with another system to store and score the brackets, and we already have 60+ entries on the rebooted contest.
Here’s how it works:
Click on File > Make a Copy. This opens up an editable copy, then the user can go into File > Email as attachment and send it to Sean as an Excel file when they’re done.
Save your picks and email them back to Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brackets must be returned to Sean by 8:30pm Eastern on Thurs, July 16th to count.
Here’s another look at the full 2024 NCAA tournament picture:
The winner gets to create themselves (or a character) as a five-star recruit + pick a game on our schedule for next season. Last season’s winner, Matt B., made a power forward who eventually committed to Dayton.
We’ll follow all of the created characters throughout the series.
Here’s a look at the Western Illinois roster heading into the opening round of the 2024 NCAA tournament:
Our opponent in the first round is No. 9 seed Pepperdine. Here’s a look at Pepperdine’s roster:
And here’s a look at how the two teams matchup:
Astute fans will remember our Leathernecks defeated Pepperdine in the 2015 Elite Eight to help us win our first national championship in program history.
Western Illinois enters the big dance in search of its third national championship, but it’ll have traverse a difficult draw to get there. The top-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes are likely waiting for WIU in the round of 32 if we win our first round game.
Here’s a look at Ohio State roster:
Our Leathernecks defeated Ohio State in the Sweet 16 last season before the tournament run eventually ended against Kansas. Ohio State returns most of its roster, including former WIU recruiting target Filip Barlett and point guard Dedrick ‘Cosplay Aaron Craft’ Konryn.
Western Illinois is led by senior shooting guard Kim Kone. I reflected on Kone’s tumultuous career on our Reddit page last night. Essentially: he’s one of my all-time favorite Leathernecks, and I’d love nothing more than to see him make a deep run during his final college season.
Come watch Western Illinois vs. Pepperdine. If we win, the Ohio State game is going down tonight and it’s going to be serious. We’ll be a heavy underdog with nothing to lose.
We’ll also follow the bracket contest. It’s going to be a fun night. I’ll see on Twitch.