There is no doubt that the VCU Rams are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NCAA. Shaka Smart has mastered the full court press, creating “havoc” for the opposition each and every time his squad takes the floor.
This VCU team takes risks and chances. They are ranked No.1 in the nation in steals per game and take pride in their defensive philosophy. The Rams thrive in transition situations and get most of their points off of turnovers.
I have gone back and forth all season about this, but just how far can the Rams go in the NCAA tournament?
The 84-52 thrashing over No.20 Butler yesterday was extremely telling. This was a nationally televised game filled with hype. This was a Butler team that has been ranked in the top 20 for most of the year. This was a team that is leaving the A-10 for a bigger and better conference solely because of their proven winning history.
But the Bulldogs didn’t stand a chance. VCU was never intimidated and they dominated from beginning to end.
For Butler head coach Brad Stevens, who had coached in 207 games, including two national title contests, he suffered his worst loss at the hands of VCU yesterday. His squad couldn’t handle the athleticism of the Rams’ defensive standouts.
“Their speed is ludicrous,” Stevens said after the game.
To me, this was the spark that the Rams needed at the right time. A blowout of one of the top teams in the nation will only build their confidence as the regular season closes.
VCU suffered a tough road loss against St. Louis, and clawed back to sneak past Xavier. I believe the neutral arenas in the NCAA tournament will favor the Rams and they will be at least a Sweet 16 caliber team.
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