VCU punched their second NCAA tournament ticket under fourth-year head coach, Mike Rhoades, returning to the dance, like the rest of college basketball, for the first time since 2019 after the entire field took a break this past year due to the COVID pandemic shutting down all of college hoops. The Rams earned the 10-seed in the West Region where they’ll face the seventh-seeded Ducks of Oregon, Saturday, March 20 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at 9:57PM.
This year’s entire field will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana with First 4 contest tipping up the action this Thursday.
The Rams and Ducks last faced on November 25, 2014, a 14-point VCU win in the Barclays Center that that Rams team would later go on to win their first and only A-10 Tournament Championship in the following March.
This year’s Ducks are surprisingly similar to that group that fell to Shaka Smart’s final VCU team. Oregon ranked 23rd nationally in offensive efficiency that season, but just No.114 on the defensive side of the ball. This year’s group ranks 16th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and is a bit more balanced with the nation’s 76th-ranked defense, but far from elite on that side of the ball.
The Ducks bring a ton of experience into this matchup and an upperclassmen-led group that basically starts 6’6 at all five positions.
Oregon received an at-large bid into this year’s tournament, falling recently to eventual surprise Pac-12 Champ and bid stealer, rival Oregon State.
This is VCU’s sixth at-large bid earned as an Atlantic 10 member since joining the conference for the 2012-13 season.