Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ram Jam - VCU in the Final Four

Take that, Jay Bilas.

I was not surprised last night when the ESPN panel of experts all predicted No. 1 seeded Kansas to knock of No. 11 Cinderella Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  VCU - which in some quarters was criticized for even making the tournament - had knocked off several teams to get to this point but the highest seeded team was a not so great No. 3 Purdue.  This was Kansas - a Jayhawk team that many were picking to win the whole thing.  Surely the VCU parade, while impressive, could not possibly continue against their inside strength, pedigree and notorious well travelled fans in San Antonio.

But I was suprised when not one of the ESPN analysts (Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Dickie V) couldn't even say that VCU might have a chance if they got hot and/or Kansas had foul trouble, or something like that. This was the same bunch who are on record for saying that VCU shouldn't have even got in the tournament.  To be fair, much of their criticism was directed at the NCAA selection committee and UAB, a team that got in and flamed out in their first game.  Jay Bilas actually said VCU could play and that their point guard Rodriguez was good (and VCU didn't even think they were going - they didn't even watch the selection show that Sunday). But nevertheless, for this game  the ESPN guys just said it was an open and shut case.  You think after a bit of this VCU rush they would give them a prop or two.

Meanwhile over at CBS, after Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley all picked Kansas to win, Anthony admitted, after some prodding from Greg Gumbell, that VCU could win if everything went their way - which Barkley supported.  But I tell you what - they must have all had Kansas in their brackets because when they cut to them after VCU's monstrous upset of Kansas, that panel looked like a library club.  They even cut away from VCU trophy celebration to show some superfluous, and nonsensical for the time, Butler footage. 

Great job Rams and great job head coach Shaka Smart.  And as Whitney Houston used to sing - Shaka-can!

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