MEN'S BASKETBALL | Hoyas Eye Ticket to Third Round
Published: Friday, March 18, 2011
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2011 04:03
The No. 6 seed Georgetown Hoyas will face the No.11 seed Virginia Commonwealth University Rams in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night. VCU earned a place in the second round after defeating the USC Trojans, 59-46, on Wednesday night in a pitiful offensive display by both teams.
The Rams are the third team in the tournament from the Colonial Athletic Association, joining No. 8 seed George Mason and No. 9 seed Old Dominion. A controversial pick for the big dance — even in a play-in game — VCU recorded a solid .500 record against out-of-conference tournament teams during the regular season. The Rams took out one of the Pac-10's better squads in UCLA back in November, forcing 21 Bruin turnovers in an 89-85 victory. They also defeated No. 14 seed Wofford, 75-66. VCU also has two losses to tournament teams, one to then-No. 24 Tennessee and another loss to No. 12 seed Richmond. The Rams shot the ball poorly in both losses, especially from three-point range.
In conference play, VCU played five games against George Mason and Old Dominion, finishing 1-1 against the Patriots and 1-2 against the Monarchs. In a 59-50 win against ODU on Jan. 22, the Rams committed just seven turnovers to the Monarchs' 14. In their March 6 win against George Mason, VCU stifled the Patriots' three-point shot (24 percent shooting by GMU) and distributed the ball extremely well (17 assists on 24 made field goals). In their three combined losses to the other CAA representatives, VCU was a no-show from three-point range, shooting worse than 27 percent in two of the three games. They were similarly demolished on the boards, grabbing less than 30 rebounds in two of the three games. Their last loss to ODU, however, was by just five points.
In 35 games, the Rams have taken nearly 800 three-pointers, an average of more than 22 attempts per game. They have not shot badly from long-range, however; their 36 percent average put them two spots behind Georgetown in the regular season three-point rankings
VCU is not very strong on the boards, rarely — if ever — outrebounding their opponents. Defensively, they are back-and-forth. In one loss to GMU, the Rams allowed their opponents to to shoot 56 percent from three-point range. In another loss to ODU, the Monarchs shot 56 percent for the entire game. VCU, however, can play fairly stringent defense, averaging more than eight steals per game. The Hoyas have to watch out for the pick-pocket: the Rams have finished 15 games with 10 or more steals.
Averaging 11.5 turnovers per game, the Rams are far from a consistent, fundamental basketball team. On the flip side, they usually do not commit more than 12 or 13 turnovers per game and distribute the ball very well on offense, averaging 14 assists per game.
Overall, the numbers show a very inconsistent basketball team, as do the results of their schedule. If VCU plays well, they have a chance to upset the Hoyas. However, if Georgetown rebounds the ball well, manages to make three-pointers at a decent clip and avoids turnovers, expect the Hoyas to come out on top in this matchup.
Tip-off is set for 9:50 p.m.