There are some great #7 vs #10 games this season. Many of the teams are on trending upwards instead of falling into these spots. Winners of these games have a real shot at beating a #2 seed the next round.
VCU made a name for themselves when they made the Final Four after in 2011 after playing in the play-in game. Head coach Shaka Smart is great on his toes. He’s an X’s & O’s guy who knows when to make adjustments.
Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes have also made some noise in the NCAA Tournament in the past. Matta has had success in the Big Dance with both OSU and Xavier. This coaching match-up will be one of the best of tourney.
Can Briante Weber’s injury hurt VCU’s shot at advancing?
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The Virginia Commonwealth Rams have been an NCAA Tournament staple since head coach Shaka Smart took over the team. They won their first Atlantic 10 tournament title since joining the conference in 2012. Senior guard Briante Weber tore his ACL and they haven’t been as good on defense. Weber was a lockdown defender would have been nice to have against OSU.
Ohio State usually comes into the NCAA Tournament with more fanfare. Head coach Thad Matta probably prefers them sneaking in rather than be weighted down with lofty expectations. The Buckeyes have a lot of playmakers on the team. D’Angelo Russell is one of the best freshman scorers in the nation and Sam Thompson seems to have at least one highlight worthy of ESPN in every game.
This will be a fun game. Ohio State and VCU are evenly matched. This game could be decided by a single possession. I’m predicting D’Angelo Russell to have a breakout performance in this tournament. I’m not sure if VCU is athletic enough at the wing to hang with the Buckeyes.
Prediction: #10 Ohio State Buckeyes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.