When VCU was chosen as an at large team in the 2011 NCAA Tournament over the likes of Virginia Tech and Colorado, everybody proceeded to freak out. A few days ago we tried to explain their selection, but I don't think that will change the minds of the people who were originally upset. But is there anything that VCU can do on the court to change that perception?
In the first round, no. The "first four" games aren't really considered part of the tournament, and their results aren't really that important. UAB, the other controversial inclusion in the tournament, got blown out last night, but nobody is using that to help build the case against them. So win or lose, the play-in game isn't going to be held against the Rams.
If they win their second round game against Georgetown, that will help. But again, that win would probably be viewed as more of a let-down by the Hoyas than it would be an enormous victory for the Rams. It's almost a no-win situation for them. Win or lose, the story of the game will be Georgetown. Unless they make a run to the Sweet Sixteen, I don't think the Rams can do anything to make the public feel better about their inclusion.
Even if they win a few games, the public still might believe that Colorado or Virginia Tech would have gone just as far given the same opportunity. They only way to make people feel better about the Rams making the tournament would be if they played either of those teams and beat them head to head, and since that isn't happening, The Rams will always be remembered as one of this year's most controversial at-large team.