clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2011 NCAA Tournament Results: VCU Rams Rains Threes, Shock Kansas Jayhawks, Will Play Butler In Final 4

Va. Commonwealth Rams 71, Kansas Jayhawks 61

This game made no sense. Which is why it made perfect sense.

Again, nothing went according to script in a game involving Shaka Smart's Rams. Kansas, one of the best three point offenses in the country, shot 2 for 21 from downtown. And it wasn't like VCU's defense was out there contesting them. A lot of those shots were wide open. The space between shooter and defender was gaping as the Rams often collapsed onto the big guys.

And the Jayhawks kept on clanking away, sometimes completely missing the rim. Marcus Morris, 0 for 3. Josh Selby, 0 for 3. Tyshawn Taylor, 0 for 2. Tyrel Reed, 1 for 7. Sometimes Kansas was settling instead of working it inside, but when you miss that many triples, that is a total lemon performance.

Kansas's other nemesis also did them in. The Jayhawks missed free throw after free throw. Taylor went 2 for 5, the Morris twins combined to go 6 for 12. Free throw shooting was probably going to do in Kansas in a close game--no one imagined it'd be here, against these Rams.

But these Rams couldn't miss in the first half, as their speed shockingly overwhelmed Kansas on defense. VCU shot 12 for 25 overall from the three point line against one of the best three point defenses in the country. Jamie Skeen was 4 for 7; Brandon Rozzell, 3 for 6; Bradford Burgess, 2 for 3; Joey Rodriguez, 2 for 6. So despite making only one of their 17 two point jumpers, the incredible 30 point advantage VCU enjoyed from beyond the arc pushed them over the top.

26 points and 10 rebounds from Skeen. Rodriguez and Burgess combined for 18 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, and Rozzell added 12 points.

Kansas won the rebounding battle, got more blocked shots, and forced more turnovers. But their atrocious shooting did them in. 89.4 points per 100 possessions won't win you games against North Texas, much less an Elite 8 contest.

In a single elimination tournament like March Madness, for an upset to happen, you only need to be perfect once, and your opponent has to be imperfect. And VCU was flawless for 15 minutes to build up a 17 point lead. They staved off the inevitable Kansas rally, then made big basket after big basket to hold on as the Jayhawks couldn't make their shots from outside when the Rams conceded them over and over. 

Then again, the Rams have won five games like this in the tournament. It's not looking like it's just luck anymore. VCU can play. They can win it all too, with just two more Ws.

VCU faces Butler (who upset Florida yesterday) in the Final Four on Saturday. For reaction from Kansas fans, go to Rock Chalk Talk.