March Madness 2012: The Virginia Commonwealth Rams Are Dancing in the NCAA Tournament

We’ll be doing NCAA Tournament profiles for all automatic bid conference winners leading up to Selection Sunday, for links to others, see bottom of this post.

Conference: Colonial Athletic Conference (28-6)

Location: Richmond, Virginia

Famous Alum: “Patch” Adams, several members of GWAR, Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)

They’re Back! You might recall the VCU Rams from a year ago, when they went from controversial “first four” participant to the Final Four by ripping through the Pac-10 (USC), Big East (Georgetown), Big Ten (Purdue), ACC (Florida State) and Big 12 (Kansas). This is their 11th tournament appearance overall.

Resume: Losses to Seton Hall and Alabama, a 23 point win over South Florida, and have won 17 of their last 18 games including the championship game victory over Drexel.

Notable Player(s): There is a lot of turnover from last year’s squad, but you will remember Bradford Burgess, the senior forward. Junior guard Darius Theus (no relation to Reggie) is the facilitator on offense and drives the pressure that VCU is known for.

Team Style/Strengths: Like last year, the Rams like to apply pressure, and lead the country in turnovers forced and steals. They are vulnerable on the boards and win games by generating more opportunities (and easy baskets) than their opponents by winning the turnover margin handily.

All-Important Rankings: 38 (RPI), 46 (Pomeroy)

Projected Outlook/Seed: Their run has them to at least a 10 seed now, and I could see them getting into a 8/9 matchup. It would be entertaining if they showed up as the 8/9 in the same bracket as Kansas for a rematch of last year’s Elite Eight win.

[photo via US Presswire]

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