What Lincoln is Thinkin' - Calling for a Win
We are just hours away from VCU's big tipoff with Butler, and I have a feeling before this game like I haven't had since the Rams played Southern Cal.
I'm positive the Rams are going to win.
Just like Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, and all the rest, I doubted that the Rams could get this far. I thought they'd lose to Georgetown. I thought they'd probably lose to Purdue. I thought their magic would somehow dissipate in their 4 days back in Richmond and they'd lose to Florida State. Then, I thought there was no way they can beat Kansas.
And Ram fans, don't hate. Because if you filled out a bracket and did not have VCU in your Final Four, then you are just like Bilas, Vitale, and that Lincoln guy from NBC12.
Now, I'm sure they'll beat Butler.
Why? Because they won't get caught up in the moment. They were as relaxed in practice yesterday as they have been for this entire ride. They're laughing and dancing around Houston, like they were in Dayton.
Butler is a good, but not great offensive team. VCU is going to make it hard for Butler to get shots outside of Matt Howard. The Bulldog big man will have a big game today, the key for VCU is that the rest of the team cannot also play well offensively.
And while Butler is a great defensive team, they're not significantly better than Florida State. And VCU scored 72 on them.
There's not a more level-headed player on this team than Bradford Burgess, and I see the Benedictine product having a big game. Shaka Smart and VCU has to know that Butler is going to focus on stopping them from shooting the three. And while that has been the most important part of the VCU offense during this remarkable run, they also can finish at the basket. Burgess is the guy, maybe more than anyone, who's going to have to create his own shot. Jamie Skeen is going to have problems with Howard down low, and I think he'll be somewhat contained. It's going to be Burgess's game to come up big, and I think he will.
Of the four teams in the Final Four, no team has played as well in the NCAA Tournament than VCU. And no team relies on one or two players less than VCU. We can call it magic, we can call it destiny, but really, success in the NCAA Tournament is all about playing better than the team you're up against. The Rams have done that decidingly in every game. I can't come up with a reason why that would stop today.
What are you thinkin' about today's game?