I'm not THAT surprised
Seriously though, I'll pose this question. Did anyone watch the Illini/MD game the other night? I did, and MAN was it a barnburner...full of clutch shots, great athleticism, great coaching, and excellent team basketball by both sides.
Both those teams are wildly better than VCU (and every other team in the A10) by EVERY metric available....except for maybe "heart" and "chip on shoulder-ness".... I kid, I kid...
My point is that a rational VCU Fan knows this, expects this, accepts this...but also knows that on "any given night"?? Our guys could take them if 8 million things happened just right. THAT'S the beauty of college hoops...that beautiful uncertainty. That feeling that maybe, just maybe...another Final Four run could happen. But we know it probably won't.....because we just don't have the players or the skills or the abilities for that kind of effort game in and game out.
That is NOT to say our guys aren't talented, some amazingly so....buth there are tens of thousands of young men playing HS basketball....and only 358 D1 teams...and only 13 guys on schollie per team...that's 4,654 young men playing D1 ball every year. And of those 4,654 young men?? VCU consistently has a BUNCH that are in that top-ish echelon...which is amazing and awesome to behold most every season.
And VCU Basketball does that, year in and year out, DESPITE the MASSIVE financial disparities available to the myriad 358 D1 schools....now made even more challenging by the new NIL landscape, the "game" being rigged continually against schools of our mid major ilk, and by a changing world in general where there are THOUSANDS of things to do on any given day that are considered "personal entertainment"
and yet...here we are....on the raggedy edge of the internet....posting our wildly uninformed (and yet wildly confident) opinions and thoughts and strategies on a message board.
There will most likely not be another VCU Final Four in our lifetimes...and that's fine. VCU is what it is....a great University with a really really great tradition of basketball that goes back decades with SO MANY amazing players and Coaches and Games and Memories.....isn't that what sports is all about?? Watching people who are SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU at a particular set of skills that they are getting a massive amount of attention (usually for a short amount of time) as this Earth is rocketing through space and we all just want to love and belong and enjoy ourselves before it snuffs out all too quickly AND barely makes a lick of sense as we're here??
Well, that's how I see it....Keep up the amazing work VCU Rams and VCU Nation...Go Hug somebody today. I hope nice things happen to ALL OF YOU!!