2010 Sweet 16 Preview - UPDATE From WhatIfSports.com image

The Truck Stops Here

Updated Syracuse and West Virginia Results
By Ryan Fowler, WhatIfSports.com
March 24th, 2010

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The NCAA Sweet 16 became a bitter pill to swallow for two impact players over the last 48-hours.

West Virginia starting point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant broke his ankle in practice on Tuesday and is done for the tournament. Head coach Bob Huggins said Joe Mazzulla will see an increased role on the floor against Washington on Thursday.

Syracuse learned today it will once again hit the floor without the services of Arinze Onuaku. The Orange's big man is still recovering from a leg injury he suffered in the Big East tournament.

Wanting to have the most up-to-date simulations heading into Thursday's first batch of Sweet 16 action, Whatifsports.com re-simulated West Virginia's game against Washington and Syracuse's game against Butler 1001 times .

Using our award winning college basketball simulation engine, we are able to provide an updated winning percentage and average score for both games with Bryant and Onuaku out of the equation.

Washington vs WVU w/o Bryant
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Washington Huskies21.368.4
@ WVU w/o Bryant 78.776.4
truck bryant
Truck's Flat Tire Impact
9.3 3.1

Whatifsports.com's original simulation with Bryant in the line-up gave West Virginia a 75-percent chance of beating Washington in the Sweet 16. With the absence of their starting point guard, the Mountaineers chances actually increase with Mazzulla seeing more minutes. However, WVU's average points per game drops slightly from 79.

In addition to a floor general, West Virginia will also be missing some offensive figures come Thursday night. Bryant was averaging over 24 minutes, nine points, three assists, and two rebounds a game.

Team-by-Team Breakdown

Butler vs Syracuse w/o Onuaku
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Butler Bulldogs15.964.5
@ Syracuse w/o Onuaku 84.174.5
arinze onuaku
Onuaku's Output
10.5 5.1

Butler may have dodged a bullet with Arinze out of the line-up, but Syracuse's suffocating zone defense is still ready to suck the life out of the Bulldogs. The Orange's chances of winning did drop 4-percent when compared to Whatifsports.com's original Sweet 16 simulations. However, Jim Boeheim and company still advance over 84-percent of the time.

Syracuse may have been able to survive the first two rounds without Onuaku, but there is no questioning the team would be stronger with him on the floor. If you check out his numbers, he's averaging over ten points and five boards, which are critical contributions come late March.

Team-by-Team Breakdown

Whatifsports.com is proud to say it accurately predicted the 2009 Super Bowl, 2009 BCS National Championship, 2009 World Series, 2009 NBA Finals and 2009 NCAA basketball championship. Our hope is to add the 2010 national basketball championship to that running list of Whatifsports.com's simulation success.

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com. Feel free to shoot him an email with any questions or comments regarding Whatifsports.com's NCAA Tournament Preview.

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