Just a month ago, college basketball experts thought the NCAA Tournament bid given to the 11th seeded Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rams was a joke. But those pundits are eating their words now, as VCU advanced on to the Elite 8 after edging No. 10 Florida State, 72-71, in the NCAA Tournament Men’s Championship Southwest Region Semi-finals in San Antonio.

VCU, staking a claim as this year’s “Cinderella” team, is now the fifth No. 11 seed in tourney history to reach the Elite Eight.

VCU was led by junior guard Bradford Burgess, who scored 26 points, had three steals and two assists. Burgess’s 26 points included a game-winning shot made in the final seven seconds of the game. He said during the postgame press conference that he had been struggling early and wanted to make it up to his teammates late in the game.

“I had been messing up layups were getting blocked,” said Burgess. “I wasn’t going to the hole strong enough, and I said if I got the chance I wanted to win the game for the team.”
Senior guard Brandon Rozzell added 16 points for VCU off the bench.

Florida State senior forward Derwin Kitchen scored 23 points with 12 rebounds, despite the loss.

The Seminoles cap their season off with a 23-11 record, while VCU will now take on No. 1 ranked Kansas on March 27 for a trip to the Final Four. 

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor