The Rams got an opportunity to have some early season Cinderella magic. And they showed Thursday that Shaka's boys still got it.
VCU knocked off 19th ranked Memphis 78-65 in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Treveon Graham scored a career high 26 points and Rob Brandenberg added 15, including two late 3-pointers.
The Rams used their frenetic style to take a 16-point lead in the first half only to see the Tigers get to 63-61 with 4:05 to play. VCU then went on an 11-0 run with all the points scored by Graham and Brandenberg. Brandenberg hit two 3s in the run and Graham one as the Rams finished 13 for 22 from behind the arc.
Brandenberg had hit just one three-pointer in the team's first three games. He had five Thursday.
The Rams did commit 19 turnovers, but the Tigers committed three more, and did not shoot well from beyond the arc (2-7).
Adonis Thomas had 19 points for the Tigers (2-1).
Shaka Smart is now 2-0 in regular season games against ranked opponents.
VCU ( 3-1) will meet No. 5 Duke in Friday's semifinals. The Blue Devils beat Minnesota 89-71. Of course, Friday's semifinal will be a rematch of "The Eric Maynor Game" - when VCU knocked off Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
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