Once again, the Sweet 16 is on the line for VCU. And once again, they're playing a Big 10 power. VCU beat Purdue, a 3 seed, by 17 points in 2011 to advance to the Sweet 16. This year, they're facing Indiana, one of the top college basketball programs in the country.
IU ranks sixth in NCAA Tournament wins. Seventh in NCAA Tournament winning percentage. Third in NCAA Tournament Championships. But they're facing a team with much more tournament experience.
Bradford Burgess will be playing in his 9th NCAA Tournament game. There's no one on the Hoosier team that has played in more than one. And that was Thursday, in an impressive beatdown of New Mexico State.
What are the keys for VCU? Well everyone seems impressive with IU's big freshman - Cody Zeller. The brother of UNC star, Zeller averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. The Hoosiers also have a dangerous 6'9" wing player in Christian Watford, who averages 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and he's dangerous from three.
The Hoosiers lit it up against the Aggies, and if they're that hot from the outside against the Rams, it will be a long day.
But every player for the Hoosiers says they haven't played against anything like the VCU fullcourt press. The Rams are going to need to make it work against IU to have a chance, because they are a very good offensive team.
The first win is always the hardest to get, and the Rams were able to get that Thursday. There's no reason to think that they can't play the same way against Indiana. I'll say they're going to have to hit more shots than they did against Wichita State if they're going to have a chance.
Just one more caveat - the Norfolk State-Missouri game was ending during the Rams' open locker room hour, and it was really neat to watch the Rams root so heavily for a school from their home state. The guys from the 757, Briante Weber and Darius Theus, were really into it, but everyone was proud of the Spartans.
Gameday tomorrow. Will this run go into another weekend?