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VCU Delivers The Final (Four) Deathblow To Everybody’s Brackets

Including mine. Here are a few of my thoughts less than one hour after the final buzzer.

I’ll leave it to some others to blindly tell us that this is the biggest upset in the history of college basketball. It’s obviously gigantic, monumental. It’s tough for me to accurately describe what just happened in terms of all-time history. A team that everyone outside of Richmond, Va., wanted ousted from this tournament before it began has made it from the First Four to the Final Four. That sounds like a cheesy, feel-good movie coming to a theater near you.

For the most part, the Rams dominated on their way. Their average margin of victory in this tournament: 12 points. I picked them to lose to USC.

We’ve got a No. 11 vs. a No. 8 in the Final Four. One them will be playing for the national title. That’s why I need to stop spending so much time researching these teams while filling out my bracket. That’s a large portion of my life wasted. Yet, I’ll just fool myself into believing that order must be restored among the seeds next year to negate the true madness of 2011.

As much as VCU whipped Kansas in the first half, the Jayhawks beat themselves in the second half. They had all of the momentum after cutting the Rams’ lead down to two in the second half. But between free-throw shooting, 3-point shooting and everything below the free-throw line, Kansas beat itself.

Kansas shoots 68 percent from the line as a team, but it missed 13 of 28 free throws today.

Kansas shoots 39 percent from behind the arc and hit 9 of 19 such shots against Richmond on Friday. But 2-of-21? There’s no doubt that the Rams’ full-court pressure gave the Jayhawks some problems, but I think you could tell that Kansas was the more tight and more nervous team for most of the game, and their anxiousness grew with every missed 3-pointer.

Kansas was 6-of-17 on shots between the free-throw line and just outside the shadow of the basket. That doesn’t even count the numerous shorties they missed directly underneath the rim, some of which ruined the opportunity to complete an old-fashioned three-point play.

After beating a team from the Pac-10, Big East, Big Ten, ACC and Big XII, can the Rams get fully motivated by facing a team from a non-power conference? They’ve been able to use a David vs. Goliath analogy to gain some extra internal energy. But Butler has thrived off the same thing for the past two NCAA Tournaments. Something tells me that one of these teams isn’t going to show up in Houston and we’ll have a blowout on our hands in this national semifinal.

And sadly, I fear this tournament has done irrevocable damage to Marv Albert’s voice. He rasped his way through these final two games from San Antonio. His vocal cords need to be carried off the court.

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