Friday, March 16, 2012

VCU wearing black to the Big Dance

Last season the Colonial Athletic Association put three teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s postseason men’s basketball tournament field of 68; one was the automatic bid, two were at-large invitations.

Some readers may remember what Virginia Commonwealth University did with its chance to measure its chops against its opponents from supposedly superior conferences in 2011.  

This year, only the CAA’s tournament champion, VCU, was invited to the Big Dance; the CAA received no at-large bids.

On Thursday night, playing in the NCAA tournament’s South Regional as a 12th seed, the VCU Rams wore their black away-game uniforms. Their opponents, the 5th seeded Shockers of Wichita St. University, were outfitted in their white home-game togs. The upset-minded Rams won: VCU 62, WSU 59.

The more highly regarded Wichita St. team had received its invitation as an at-large team from the Missouri Valley Conference, which is yet another league that’s supposed to be better than the CAA.

Not only are the Rams going to be the underdogs in every game they play from here on, they are the 9th youngest team among the 344 teams in Division I.

VCU’s only senior, Brad Burgess (pictured above) led the Rams scoring attack against the Shockers with 16 points. His three-point jumper from the corner, as the clock ticked down, was the biggest shot of the game; it stiff-armed a Shockers comeback and put the Rams ahead for good.

Click here to see the box score.

Click here to see video highlights of the game at YouTube (from VCU Athletics).

VCU (29-6) will wear black for its next game on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. The 4th seeded Indiana University (26-8), of the Big Ten Conference, will be wearing white. Underdogs in this format always wear the darker colors. Underdogs usually lose…

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