NCAA Tournament: Would VCU have made field of 65?
The NCAA Tournament expanded to 68 teams this year, which meant three extra at-large teams were in the field. Virgina Commonwealth, one of the last four at-large teams in, has made the Final Four. Does that mean VCU wouldn’t have even made the tournament if we were still at 65?
Probably. Think about that. A team that has taken out Southern Cal, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas — with only Florida State going down to the wire — wouldn’t even have made the field in yesteryear. Deservedly so. The Rams finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association, behind George Mason (understandable), Old Dominion (OK) and Hofstra (what the…). Virginia Commonwealth lost at Northeastern, which finished 11-20, and lost at Georgia State, which finished 12-19, and lost at home to James Madison.
But the 23-11 Rams were invited to the Big Dance, much to the consternation of ESPN analysts, and have soared beyond the greatest Cinderella story. Think of it this way. VCU already has done what Butler did a year ago, only better. VCU has won five NCAA Tournament games, all against equal or higher seeds, and all against power-conference foes. Not even Butler did that in 2010; the Bulldogs beat UTEP, Murray State, Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State, before losing to Duke in the title game.
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