Mar 17, 2011, 2:14 AM EDT
Please don’t say that “VCU has proven they belong” after their 59-46 win over USC in the final First Four game in Dayton.
Seriously, don’t do it.
One game doesn’t erase a season’s performance. If you didn’t think they belonged in the Big Dance before Wednesday, you shouldn’t think they deserve to be in the dance on Thursday.
If anything, you should say this — VCU proves that they will be a really tough opponent for Georgetown.
The Rams matchup very well with the Hoyas. They have the same kind of versatility as Georgetown does. They can play Bradford Burgess at the four if Georgetown decides to go small with Hollis Thompson up front, and they can use DJ Haley or Juvonte Reddic up front when Nate Lubick or Henry Sims joins Julian Vaughn in the front court. The Rams have one of the better mid-major back courts in the country, one that, at the very least, will be able to provide defensive pressure on the Hoyas while still being able to attack them offensively.
Perhaps most importantly, the Rams have a horse on the block in Jamie Skeen. Against a Trojan front line that is big, strong, and experienced, Skeen finished with 16 points and nine boards, out playing both Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stephenson, who combined for just 14 points and 10 FGA.
All told, the Rams finished with 15 offensive rebounds and nine three pointers against the Trojans. That is impressive.
VCU is one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Shaka Smart could very well end up going to one of the open high-major jobs this summer.
Don’t be surprised if this team moves on to the round of 32 on Friday.
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