Feb 28, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT
VCU has plenty to play for down the stretch of the season.
The Rams will be taking on the Atlantic 10′s other new addition on Saturday, as they host Butler at noon in the first meeting between the two teams since the 2011 Final Four, when Brad Stevens took down Shaka Smart’s club en route to their second consecutive title game.
In a vacuum, that creates quite a bit of intrigue heading into Saturday, but there’s more at stake than simple pride. VCU is currently a game up on Butler in the A-10 standings and a game behind St. Louis for first place. A loss would end any chance the Bulldogs have of winning a share of the regular season title, while VCU doesn’t want to fall two games off the pace with just two games remaining.
And given the style of play that Smart teaches — Havoc! — and the way that he always demands energy and intensity out of his team, it’s hard to believe that VCU has ever had a “quiet” practice.
But, if it’s truly possible, a VCU practice last week was even more intense than usual thanks to a special visitor. From David Teel:
Spike Lee strolled into a VCU basketball practice last week. The renowned filmmaker, hoops maven and Reggie Miller foil was speaking on campus and wanted to check out coach Shaka Smart’s Rams.
“All of a sudden, it went from a good practice to a through-the-roof practice,” Smart said Wednesday of Lee’s arrival. :I probably would have been the same way when I was 18, 19 years old. The guys were just hootin’ and hollerin’. I’ve never heard out team talk so much. I wish we could take him on the road with us.”
That’s how you know you’ve made it as a basketball program.
It’s not the Final Fours or the games on ESPN or the sold out Siegel Center.
When Spike Lee wants to watch you practice, you’ve officially hit the big-time.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Mar 12, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
I’m not sure there is a conference in the country where there is more at stake in the conference tournament. Even with Sunday’s loss at Nebraska, Wisconsin has a chance to play their was into a No. 1 seed if they can win the conference tournament. Michigan probably can’t be a No. 1 seed, but…
Mar 12, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
GAME OF THE DAY: American at Boston U., 7:30 p.m. The Patriot League’s automatic bid will be handed out this evening as the two best teams in the conference square off. BU has the best back court in the conference with Maurice Watson and D.J. Irving while American sputtered down the stretch, losing five of…
Mar 12, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
Zach Lederer, a manager on the Maryland men’s basketball team, passed away last night after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 20. Zach was an inspiration to the basketball team and sparked a meme that went nationwide called ‘Zaching’. Maryland posted this picture of the team ‘Zaching’ this morning in his honor. CSN…
Mar 12, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Regular season champion UC Irvine may have gone 13-3 in Big West play, but look for this tournament to provide a surprise or two.
Mar 12, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
Doug McDermott’s SI cover pays homage to a man that he passed on the career scoring list weeks ago.
Mar 12, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT
A couple of quick notes about today’s bracket (March 12) update: After securing another West Coast Conference title Tuesday night, the Gonzaga Bulldogs can rest easy while waiting for the 68-team bracket to be revealed on Sunday night. The same can’t be said for Brigham Young. It’s going to be a tense few days for…
Mar 12, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
While there’s a clear favorite in the Pac-12 tournament, there will be plenty of drama with multiple teams looking to lock up a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Mar 12, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT
No. 8 San Diego State, No. 20 New Mexico are the clear favorites in Las Vegas. But don’t expect those two teams to simply coast to the title game, either.
Mar 12, 2014, 12:38 AM EDT
Four autobids were decided on Tuesday as the NCAA Tournament has some new entrants into the field of 68. Find out who made the Big Dance and see how BYU is looking after its WCC title game loss.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:56 PM EDT
Gonzaga is back in the tournament for what feels like the 100th straight year, but this team is a bit different than Gonzaga teams of old.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
Meet the North Dakota State Bison, the winners of the Summit League and one of the — likely — trendy upset picks in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
The coaching carousel continued to spin on Tuesday night as Loyola Marymount opted not to renew the contract of head coach Max Good.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:06 PM EDT
Get to know the Northeast Conference tournament champs!
Mar 11, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
The Milwaukee Panthers are dancing after winning four games in the Horizon League Conference Tournament. Meet one of the NCAA Tournament’s more dangerous double-digit seeds here.
Mar 11, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
After only two seasons as head coach, Tennessee State has opted to fire head coach Travis Williams.
Mar 11, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
The Southland’s top team has been upset in the conference tournament for the past three seasons. Will the trend continue? Or has the arrival of Stephen F. Austin’s new coach, Brad Underwood, altered the trajectory?
Mar 11, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
UNC Wilmington on Tuesday announced that head coach Buzz Peterson is out after four years at the school.
Mar 11, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT
Every year, there are a handful of teams that could use a couple of wins in their respective league tournaments to gain entry into the field of 68. Here are five schools that need to string some wins together this week to feel comfortable making NCAA Tournament.
Mar 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
In light of the back injury that will keep Joel Embiid out for the Big 12 tournament and could foreseeably saddle him to the bench for the entirety of the NCAA tournament, we decided to take a look at season-ending injuries to key players on past National Title contenders: Kenyon Martin: Cincinnati was the No. 1…
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