Sunday, March 18, 2007

VCU Rams lose in OT

The VCU Rams lost their second round NCAA tournament game to the Pittsburgh Panthers in overtime: Pittsburgh 84, VCU 79.

The overachieving Rams finished their first season under head coach Anthony Grant with a record of 28-7, which speaks for itself, in a way.

Having won the CAA regular season and tournament championships, and having defeated mighty Duke by two points in a first-round NCAA game, this team put up some fancy numbers when it counted. No VCU team has ever won 28 games in a single season’s campaign.

For fans who just beam up the final scores on their cell phones and watch highlights on ESPN, that’s all one needs to know. Stats. To such in-a-hurry, semi-devotees of college basketball the bottom line is everything. Numbers.

Which is fine for how to pay off bets, but it says little about why there is a sports section in daily newspapers. The character and team spirit this VCU squad showed -- with special mention of the two senior starters Jesse Pellot-Rosa and B.A. Walker, who both scored 20 points -- in coming back from being behind by 19 points in the second half was truly amazing.

Yes, this hard-fought game was a perfect example of why the NCAA tournament has such appeal -- there were three overtime games today, out of eight games played.

Click here to read the AP report and box score. Here is one quote from the story:

“‘More than losing,’ Grant said [of his players], ‘they’re disappointed that this team doesn’t get to play together (anymore).’”

More than they lost, the gritty Rams ran out of time. My congratulations go out to Coach Grant, his players and staff, and the VCU family of supporters. Stay tuned for more commentary on NCAA action...

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