Flat Rams fall to Mason, damage tournament aspirations

VCU came out flat in last night’s home contest against George Mason, only to see things go from first half bad to second half worse in the shocking 72-67 home defeat.

The black and gold’s top-25 defense surrendered 42 second half points against the Nation’s 176th-ranked offense to drop VCU to 17-7 on the season and a behind-the-eight ball 7-4 in conference play.

De’Riante Jenkins led the Rams with 16 efficient points with senior classmate Issac Vann adding an efficient 13 of his own. VCU’s other three starters however combined for just 12 points on 4-19 shooting and a 4-11 showing at the free throw stripe.

Freshman star, Bones Hyland, scored 11 points for the Rams and dished four assists to no turnovers. Hyland added a game-high four steals and with a late one-man 8-point scoring run, put the Rams within distance, only to see Mason hang on for the surprising road win.

It was just the Patriots third conference win of the season.

The loss drops the Rams into fifth place in the A-10 standings and staring down a Thursday night contest in Brooklyn a season after winning the A-10’s regular season title with just two conference losses. VCU can climb back into fourth with a win at Richmond this weekend, even if just temporarily, a game kenpom predicts VCU will lose as a part of a predicted three-game losing streak (Mason, Richmond, Dayton) that would begin to pull VCU toward the bottom half of the conference.

The Rams finish their season with five top-100 A-10 contests. VCU is currently 5-6 against top-100 foes this season, but have yet to pick up a top-100 road win yet this season. currently predicts an 11-7 fifth place A-10 finish for VCU.

The Rams fell to No.7 in A-10 offensive efficiency following last night’s showing and down to No.3 on the defensive side of the ball behind both Rhode Island and Richmond.

VCU ranks 47th by popular statistics website, down from their preseason starting ranking of 23rd nationally.

The loss adds a brutal “quad 4” L to VCU’s NCAA at-large resume as well, a resume that was previously straddling the line and at the moment most likely moves the Rams to the wrong side of this year’s NCAA tournament bubble. VCU will however, have a number of quality win opportunities remaining on their schedule, a commodity that ran scarce in last season’s down Atlantic 10 that featured just two top-100 opponents not named VCU.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...
Man, these threads today are brutal. You'd think we were 4-8. We are not.

Mason is now a Q4 loss, although they could move up with a few wins. They will get their chances. I think they will end up being only a Q3 loss.

We are still in the run for a double bye in the A-10 Tournament. While the loss hurt us, it is just one loss. And it is a loss against a team that we likely will NOT be tied with at the end of the season. We have already secured the tie-breaker against St. Bonaventure. We have a worst case of being tied with UR for the tie-breaker, win and the tie breaker is ours. We have a home game against DU, which with a win we would secure the tie-breaker with them. Road game against St. Louis, same set-up. Win those games and we will have the tie-breaker in any combination of those teams.

The A-10 4th place team has had the following number of losses since we went to 18 conference games:

2019- 6
2018- 8
2017- 5
2016- 5
2016- 6

Win the tie-breaker games listed above and we will have no problem. Any tie will go to us. And don't forget that all of these teams are playing as games, just like us. Sometimes they are playing each other. We have plenty of chances to win and slip into 3rd or 4th place.

An At-large bid? Well, the game last night hurt. But we are still at 42 Net and will get plenty of chances to improve the number. Lose only one, and we end up 13-5. We might have to make it to the A-10 final to lock up that at-large, but is is still not out of the question. Win the rest of they way.....

Look, we are all upset. But that was not the first time we have ever been upset at home. It is not the worst upset ever. It is not even the worst time GMU ever upset us!

Plenty of ball to play. Just win.

FWIW, when we publish "articles" on this website, it posts it to the forum. This wasn't me creating another thread for the heck of it, it just automatically publishes.