First and foremost you’ll have to excuse me for taking several hours to post this, but as a “fan” site, and being a die hard fan of VCU basketball ever since I was old enough to say Calvin Duncan, I had some serious celebrating to do (and will continue to celebrate as the night goes on).
Now that we’ve got that bit of business taken care of…
VCU IS GOING TO THE FINAL 4!!!!!!
Yes, you heard that correctly. After being a controversial inclusion into this year’s newly expanded tournament, VCU has gone on one of the greatest runs in NCAA tournament history, knocking off USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and the only remaining No.1-seed left heading into today…the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Rams came into this game a double-digit underdog, and in 2006 George Mason fashion, punched a ticket to the Final 4 by knocking out a No.1 seed.
For almost three minutes, it looked as if college hoops analysts might be right in their prediction of a Kansas rout. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, games aren’t won in three minutes, and that 6-0 lead would be their largest of the game, as VCU went on a 39-point tear that gave them their largest lead of the game at 18 points.
The black-and-gold finished the half up 14, and awaited what was sure to come…a Jayhawk run.
Kansas did just that, going on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to four, and eventually two. But VCU dug deep, fought back, and got a crucial seven points out of Jamie Skeen in just under four minutes of play, stretching the lead back out to 10.
Kansas threatened to pull back within reach, but VCU consistently answered with big play after big play, and got two giant 3-pointers from Bradford Burgess and Joey Rodriguez that essentially iced the game for the Rams.
Jamie Skeen had been relatively quiet thus far in this year’s tournament, but showed why he’s been VCU’s most consistent scorer, posting 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the win.
Skeen was relentless in the paint, and attacked 6’10 twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris, who combined for 7 fouls on the afternoon.
The senior Wake Forest transfer took advantage of his opportunities at the charity stripe, hitting 10-of-12 free throws for the Rams.
Brandon Rozzell was huge for VCU once again, hitting four timely 3-point attempts and finished with 12 points in the game.
Joey Rodriguez and Bradford Burgess added 9 points and 5 rebounds each.
Rodriguez finished with a game high 5 assists, totaling 38 this tournament.
The win was VCU’s 28th of the season, breaking the previous Ram record of 27 just four years ago when Eric Maynor hit the game winning shot against the Duke Blue Devils.
VCU will have just under one week to prepare for fellow bracket buster Butler.
The Bulldogs return for their second-straight Final 4 appearance, having advanced to the National Championship game before coming up just 2 points shy against Duke in 2010.