The 128 Team Playoff, Day 109: Arkansas vs. Fresno State

by CJ Olson

Photo courtesy of Arkansas athletics

Introduction

We’ve created a 130-team bracket using ESPN’s FPI as our ranking system.

“But, anyone can create a bracket, how will the games be simulated?” Great question; NCAA Game Sim was used.

For each game on the bracket, the matchup was simulated once and every day a write-up will be done.

For the matchup, player statistics will be simulated and included in the write-ups.

Finally, thanks to the NCAA Game Sim premium membership, we’ll show the results of doing 100 simulations all at once. This is to see if a given result was more towards the expected side or if a given result was more towards the upset or luckier side.

All of the results have been simulated and tabulated, so at the time of writing the introduction, the results are already in.

This is designed to be fun, so please enjoy.

From Georgia to Massachusetts, here’s the 130-team bracket:

128 bracket

Match 110

(3) Arkansas vs. (7) Fresno State

How Arkansas Got Here: 48-13 win over (14) San Jose State, 48-35 win over (6) SMU

How Fresno State Got Here: 27-13 win over (10) Tulsa, 43-27 win over (2) Pittsburgh

One of the lone remaining Cinderellas in this tournament, Fresno State has manufactured a lot of magic in its two-possession victories. The Bulldogs are the Mountain West’s last hope.

Arkansas’ offense has been the strongest unit for the Razorbacks thus far. With a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line, the offense did OK, but it was the defense that came to play.

Fresno State quarterback was 25-for-39 passing with 268 yards, but he also threw two interceptions.

Most importantly, running back Ronnie Rivers was bottled up. Rivers had just 46 yards on 20 carries.

On the flip side, Arkansas running back Dominique Jefferson did a great job keeping the Razorbacks ahead of schedule. Jefferson ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

Quarterback KJ Jefferson had a sleepy game through the air, going 13-for-23 with 211 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. On the ground, he did add 78 yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts.

Thanks to a strong defensive showing and being able to run at will, the Razorbacks stop Fresno State’s Cinderella run. Arkansas wins easily, 41-13.

In 100 simulations, Arkansas won 83 by an average margin of 34.2-19.6.

With Fresno State’s loss, the Mountain West becomes the third conference to lose all of its members. Conference USA and the MAC were the first two.

Winner’s Next Matchup: (1) Oklahoma

Tomorrow’s Matchup: (2) Wisconsin vs. (6) Coastal Carolina

Updated Bracket

IMG 0304

Teams Lost, In Order:

PLAY-IN

Massachusetts, Connecticut

ROUND 1

Akron, New Mexico State, Florida International, Temple, New Mexico, Bowling Green, Rice, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Arkansas State, Charlotte, Southern Mississippi, Ohio, Kansas, Duke, UNLV, Georgia Southern, UTEP, South Alabama, San Jose State, South Florida, Arizona, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Ball State, Minnesota, Navy, Nebraska, Buffalo, Troy, Colorado State, North Texas, Eastern Michigan, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Florida Atlantic, Stanford, Tulane, Colorado, Wyoming, Middle Tennessee, Rutgers, Miami University, Indiana, Louisville, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, West Virginia, Central Michigan, Missouri, Syracuse, Tulsa, Western Michigan, Utah State, Liberty, UTSA, Boston College, Nevada, South Carolina, Army, Washington, Air Force, Virginia Tech

ROUND 2

Toledo, Alabama, Illinois, TCU, UAB, Marshall, USC, San Diego State, California, UCF, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Oregon State, Florida State, BaylorNC State, Louisiana, Ole MissMichigan State, Auburn, SMU, Wake Forest, Miami, Western Kentucky, Purdue, Arizona State, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kent State, Kansas State, UCLA, Appalachian State

ROUND 3

Iowa, FloridaOhio State, Mississippi State, Houston, Boise State, Oklahoma State, BYU, Iowa State, LSU, North Carolina, Fresno State

REMAINING TEAMS BY CONFERENCE:

American: 2/11 (highest remaining: 2. Cincinnati)

ACC: 2/14 (highest remaining: 1. Clemson)

Big 12: 3/10 (highest remaining: 1. Oklahoma)

Big Ten: 4/14 (highest remaining: 1. Michigan)

Conference USA: 0/14 (last remaining was No. 6 Western Kentucky, eliminated Day 89)

Independents: 1/7 (highest remaining: 1. Notre Dame)

MAC: 0/12 (last remaining was No. 13 Kent State, eliminated Day 94)

Mountain West: 0/12 (last remaining was No. 7 Fresno State, eliminated Day 109)

Pac-12: 2/12 (highest remaining: 2. Utah)

SEC: 4/14 (highest remaining: 1. Georgia)

Sun Belt: 2/10 (highest remaining: 6. Coastal Carolina)

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