Game Preview: VCU v Davidson, Atlantic 10 Semifinal [INSIDER]

It's been exactly one week since these two last met, the result being a 65-57 Davidson home win to finish the regular season. Today VCU gets a shot at revenge with a trip to the Atlantic 10 tournament final on the line. The Rams will also play at on their home court  and  with Bones Hyland in the lineup, a luxury the black and gold did not have just one week ago.
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<h4>VCU (18-6, 10-4)
DAVIDSON (13-7, 7-4)</h4>
Davidson legend, Bob McKillop, is looking for another trip to  the Atlantic 10 tournament championship, having won a surprise title just two FULL tournaments ago (three seasons ago) by upsetting the then-top-seeded, Rhode Island Rams.

McKillop and Co. bring in yet another highly-efficient offense, the nation's 16th-best according to kenpom. That offense was  in full display last night with a 99-point effort across town at the Robins Center that easily dispatched the Patriots of George Mason from this year's tourney. Star senior guard, Kellen Grady, dropped a cool 32 points on the Patriots while sharpshooting sophomore,  Hyunjung Lee, chipped in an easy 20 in the win. The Cats shot a blistering 54.8% from three and a ridiculous, almost unstoppable even...74.7% team true shooting percentage.

The Cats bring a solid defense into the Stu was well, one that limited a Bones-less Rams to just 57 points in the last meeting between these two. They rank just 132nd nationally in defensive efficiency this season however, far from elite and nowhere near the level of Ds VCU has managed to find some success against this year.

Davidson comes into this one just 2-6 against top-100 teams, one of those wins coming against the Rams, the other a 20-point home demolition of 91st-ranked Vanderbilt. The Cats fell to  VCU 73-62 their last trip to the Siegel Center.
VCU was about 10 minutes from completely blowing out Dayton in their A-10 quarterfinal matchup, leading by 18 points with under 10 to play in the game. But credit to the Flyers, Anthony Grant's squad battled  back, turning turnovers into threes and threatening VCU before the Rams ultimately snuffed out the Flyer flame in the 5-point win.

A win is a win.

That game saw glimpses of just how dangerous this VCU team can be. The Rams defense completely shut down the Flyers through about 3/4 of the game and for one half of action, Bones Hyland simply could not be stopped. The challenge for the Rams will be stretching that effort out for as much of the available 40 minutes as possible in tonight's rematch battle.

Injury notes from Friday include Hyland returning from injury and Vince Williams sitting most of the second half after taking a charge on Dayton's 6'11 278 center. Williams reportedly suffered back spasms after the charge that sideline him for the remainder of the game, but when asked about his future status, VCU Head Coach Mike Rhoades commented, "he keeps saying to me, 'I'll be alright, I'll be alright.'"

Hyland went down in the second of half of yesterday's contest with what appeared like a leg injury at the time, but returned to the game and later said that he was suffering cramps due to just getting back on the court after the foot injury that sidelined him from game action the past week.

Scoring Offense: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 73.7, VCU 72.3</span>
Scoring Defense: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 63.6, VCU 65.3</span>
Effective Field Goal% Offense: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 56.5%, VCU 51%</span>
Effective Field Goal% Defense: <span style="color: #339966;">VCU 46.2%, DAV 49.2%</span>
3-Point Field Goal%: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 36.2%, VCU 33.2%</span>
3-Point Field Goal% Defense: <span style="color: #339966;">VCU 29.9%, DAV 33.7%</span>
2-Point Field Goal%: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 58.5%, VCU 51.7%</span>

2-Point Field Goal% Defense: <span style="color: #339966;">VCU 46.8%, DAV 48.2%</span>
Rebounds per game: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 35, VCU 34.1</span>
Turnover% Offense: <span style="color: #ff0000;">DAV 17.2%, VCU 20.9%</span>
Turnover% Defense: <span style="color: #339966;">VCU 24.2%, DAV 15.9%</span>
<h4>VCU WINS IF</h4>

Last season's Rams lost eight of their last 10 contests. Their two wins? GW and Davidson, both at the Stu. The Rams limited the Cats to 26.3% shooting from deep and forced  21 turnovers to just nine of their own.

How do  you beat this Davidson team? You play like that.

Kenpom: 69-66 VCU win with a 60% chance of a Rams victory.

Game tips at 9PM at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, VA

Watch: CBS Sports Network

Listen: <a href=";pname=1248&amp;campid=header&amp;cid=index.html">Fox Sports 910 AM &amp; 98.5 FM</a>
Live Tweets: <a href="">@VCURamNation</a>

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Licensed Virginia Realtor and part-time basketball writer. Co-founder of and
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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