Yes, everyone wants their team to make it all the way to the championship during March Madness. If VCU plays their best (on offense mostly), this fan believes it could happen. Before name calling and eye rolling let’s dive into some “bracketology.”
VCU’s first game in the big dance won’t be an easy one. Sure a 5th seed team should be able to beat a 12th seed team easy, right? The answer to this question may not be as obvious as it seems because Stephen F. Austin clenched the Southland Conference Championship. Not only are they No. 1 in their conference, they have a significantly better record than the Rams. An extremely tough 12th seed, the Lumberjack’s defense is one of their strongest talents. With VCU’s offence not being the best it’s ever been lately, this defense could very well shut the Rams out of the tournament. SFA is coming off of a 28-game winning streak, so VCU can’t afford to let down their guard or play sloppy for one moment of this game.
Assuming the Ram’s Havoc style and full-court pressure stumps the Lumberjacks, up next would likely be UCLA after their win against Tulsa. UCLA won the Pac-12 title but when stacking the two teams up, the Rams defense should be able to shut out any quick movement that UCLA’s offense is said to have.
The Florida Gators are sitting at No. 1 of the AP Top-25 poll and will be facing off against the Rams if they win their first two games as well. Here is where being a huge VCU fan gets in the way of practicality. First looking at the two conferences, VCU’s A-10 match-ups were no doubt much more challenging than the Gator’s in the SEC. Proof of the immense A-10 competition is in the numbers. Six teams from the A-10 are dancing this year. Additionally, Syracuse showed the nation near the end of their regular season that a No. 1 ranking due to a long undefeated run can be debated. Anyone can lose, especially during March Madness and especially if they let this ranking get to their heads. If VCU is underestimated it will make it that much easier for them to win.
Next, predicting that Kansas feeds into Syracuse’s losing streak and wins, VCU could have another challenging game on their hands. This game would bring them to the Elite Eight and with the Jayhawk’s unstoppable freshman Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins; it would be a tough game. Kansas had one of the hardest schedules and although they didn’t sweep the floor clean, they did hold their own well. VCU would, once again have to turn up the Havoc and give the Jayhawks plays they aren’t prepared for in order to win.
From here the predictions get a bit fuzzy as narrowing down the other side of the bracket gets hard as well. Here it goes, Villanova and VCU will face off in the final four, and with all Ram fans fingers crossed, they will make it to the Championship. Here they will likely play Michigan if Michigan can pull a win out against Arizona. Losing to UCLA for the Pac-12 title showed some of Arizona’s weaknesses.
Although these teams are stacked, and it would be a VERY tough road for VCU, all things are possible through Havoc. One of the greatest qualities VCU has in the tournament is their ability to bring a completely different style to the court. Teams in the A-10 have time to study VCU and know what to expect when facing off against them, but in the tournament as we all know, it’s never predictable. Teams have little time to prepare for Coach Shaka Smart’s style and it shows on the court when VCU outruns them.
Stay tuned for the dark side of the tournament, if VCU loses. Everyone has a backup bracket right?
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