RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The president of VCU, Michael Rao, says that having the Rams in the Final Four could mean big things for the university. Rao's very excited that the Rams are Final Four bound, expects them to go all the way, and is not surprised that they've made it this far.
The excitement at Monday's early morning "Welcome Home" rally was felt throughout the city of Richmond. Later that afternoon, the head of VCU took a moment to express how proud he is of the university's team proving their worth in the NCAA tournament.
"It was a wonderful experience and we're all as excited as we could possibly be," said Rao.
While there were many who didn't believe that VCU even deserved a spot in the NCAA Tournament, let alone make it this far, President Rao tells us he saw it coming.
"You could see it in the players' faces early on toward the end of their season," said Rao. "It was very obvious to me that they clearly had this look of we have nothing to lose unless we lose."
The cheering fans are not just limited to students anymore; the university's website is seeing more hits. Those hits could turn into new students next year.
"11 million hits on our website, number one on Google trends so I think this is going to result in a surge in applications and hopefully yield as well," said Rao.
The team is getting ready to go head-to-head against Butler on Saturday and VCU students are gearing up to cheer the players on again. Rao doesn't have hard feelings against anyone who didn't think they'd make it this far.
"I have a tendency to ignore all of that and pretty much have the whole way along, because I'm a little more familiar with VCU, more familiar with our players and their psychological commitment to winning," said Rao. "I'm pleased that they all have done well and hope that they join us in that pleasure."
And now what was once an unknown university to the rest of the country is now becoming a household name.