The Pac-12 was fun to watch this year, but teams beat the hell out of each other during the conference schedule. The Beavers came out of the Pac-12 schedule with a negative efficiency rating. The got a #7 seed thanks to their RPI rating.
The Atlantic 10 had a three-way tie for the regular season title. Dayton, VCU and St. Bonaventure tied with St. Joseph’s finishing one game out. The Rams have a core group of upperclassmen that have experience in the tournament.
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The Oregon State Beavers was one of the middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 teams that got beaten around by the top teams. They are a good team, but the only star on the team is Gary Payton II. Payton makes the opposing team’s guards work for shots.
VCU was a perennial NCAA Tournament team under coach Shaka Smart. Smart left for Texas last offseason, but not much has changed. They still play the same hard-nosed defense. I will argue that this team might be better than some of VCU’s past teams that made deep runs.
The NCAA Tournament games can sometimes be won with confidence. It goes a long way if a team believe they can win. I don’t believe Oregon State has much confidence coming out of a rough Pac-12 schedule. VCU has been here before and will beat Oregon State.
Prediction: #10 VCU Rams
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.