CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20: Fans of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams cheer against the Purdue Boilermakers in the first half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

NCAA Tournament: No. 11 VCU Downs No. 3 Purdue 94-76 To Advance To Sweet Sixteen

The VCU Rams are on to the Sweet Sixteen, and they're the only team that had to win three games to do it.

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NCAA Bracket Update: VCU Moves On To Sweet Sixteen With 94-76 Win Over Purdue

The Va. Commonwealth Rams are on to the Third round of the NCAA Tournament, and they're the only team in the Sweet Sixteen that has already won three games.

None of those three games have even been close. After beating the Georgetown Hoyas by 18 points in the round of 64 and beating the USC Trojans by 13 points in the First Four, the Rams continued their run of good fortune with a lopsided 94-76 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers tonight in Chicago.

This is just the latest development in the yearly battle between the CAA and the bracketology experts who always seem to think the conference doesn't deserve as many bids as it actually gets.

Bradford Burgess led all scorers with 23 points, and added eight rebounds. VCU point guard Joey Rodriguez was also dominant in the backcourt, finishing with 12 points, 10 assists, and no turnovers.

With the win, VCU will continue on to San Antonio, where they will face the winner of the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Florida State Seminoles on Friday Mar. 25.


NCAA Tournament Scores: VCU Leads Purdue 65-48 With Ten Minutes To Play

VCU has extended its halftime lead to a healthy 17 points midway through the second half, and now leads Purdue 65-48 behind the continued stellar play of senior guard (and Energizer Bunny clone) Joey Rodriguez. Rodriguez has 11 points, eight assists and two rebounds. Juvonte Reddic, Bradford Burgess and Brandon Rozzell have all chipped in double-digit point totals for a well-balanced VCU attack. The Rams are shooting 27 of 48 from the floor, good for 56 percent (18 assists to boot).

I hate to agree with Bob Weenzel on anything, ever, but Purdue seems to be ingnoring reality, continually letting Rams players dirve the lane and kick for easy shots. Matt Painter might want to make an adjuistment before this 17 point lead becomes 27.

The Rams are ten minutes of play from the Sweet Sixteen. Fearign the basketball (and karma) gods, I will just leave it at that right now (though @jaybilas, you might want to turn off twitter tonight if this result holds).


NCAA Tournament Scores, VCU vs. Purdue: VCU Leads, 42-32, At Halftime

The Va. Commonwealth Rams are the sole remaining team flying the flag for the CAA. They're representing the league quite well in their attempt to be the only First Four team to reach the Sweet 16. VCU currently leads the Purdue Boilermakers by 10 points.

The Rams went on a 17-2 run late in the half, eclipsed by two straight Brandon Rozzell three-pointers in transition. The first came after a VCU steal, and the second came as the Rams pushed the ball up the floor and created a three-on-one after a Purdue miss. The defensive effort by the Rams during this stretch was impressive, but so was their shooting. The Rams finished the half with a shooting percentage of 50, including four out of 10 three-point attempts.

The Rams still have 20 minutes left to hang on for this victory. But even if the Boilermakers do come back, at least the VCU players will be able to leave the Tournament feeling good about themselves for putting in a good performance against a quality opponent, which is more than we can say about the George Mason Patriots today.


NCAA Tournament Scores: Purdue Leads VCU 18-17 Midway Through First Half

The No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams, the final remnants of #3Bids4CAA, and the most unlikely of the bunch if you listened to the pundits, trail the No. 3 seed Purdue Boilernmakers 18-17 at the 10-minute mark of the first half.

Ryne Smith, who produced a goose egg in the points column a game ago, already has 11 points and three rebounds in ten minutes of play. Purdue's two stars, JaJuan Johnson and E'twaun Moore, have been held in check, with only Johnson scoring a bucket.

Juvonte Reddic and Jamie Skeen have led the Rams with six and five points, respectively. Much like with Purdue's Smith, Reddic's offense is an extremely pleasant surprise for Shaka Smart's club.

In just ten minutes of play Purdue has shown a much greater competency against the VCU pressure than the Georgetown Hoyas mustered in their upset loss to the Rams. This game has "tight contest throughout" written all over it, something CAA hoops fans need after the George Mason debacle that just wrapped.


NCAA Tournament Update: VCU Looks For Another Upset Vs. Purdue

Can VCU continue its unlikely run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament? The Rams, who many felt didn't even deserve to make the field, have already advanced to the third round of the NCAA bracket, with wins over USC in the opening round and No. 6 seed Georgetown on Friday. Now, can they advance to the Sweet 16? They will have to defeat No. 3 Purdue Sunday to do it.

The game will take place at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday on TBS, with Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel announcing. The winner will take on the winner between No. 2 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Florida State, which will take place in Chicago 30 minutes after the end of the VCU-Purdue game.

Shaka Smart's club has stifled USC and Georgetown with a tough full-court press and great long-distance shooting. Jamie Skeen has dominated the paint, and Brandon Rozzell was on fire from three-point range in the win over Georgetown. But Purdue presents a difficult challenge, especially up front, where center JaJuan Johnson is one of the nation's top inside players. E'Twaun Moore is also a tough cover on the perimeter, even for a VCU team that defends so well.

Can VCU continue its magical run. We'll find out later Sunday.


NCAA Bracket Update: Virginia Commonwealth Takes On No. 3 Purdue After Upsetting Georgetown

The No. 11 seeded Virginia Commonwealth Rams have already gotten further in the NCAA bracket that most expected after being a controversial at-large selection to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Now, after defeating USC in the opening round and routing No. 6 seed Georgetown on Friday, the Rams look to slay another dragon when they take on No. 3 seed Purdue on Sunday at 7:10 p.m.

The game will be broadcast on TBS, with Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel announcing. The winner will take on the winner between No. 2 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Florida State, which will also be played on Sunday in Chicago 30 minutes after the conclusion of the VCU-Purdue game.

The Boilermakers pose a bigger challenge than Georgetown. Matt Painter's squad lost Robbie Hummel to injury early in the season, but continued to roll and would have likely been a higher seed had it not lost early in the Big 10 Tournament. JaJuan Johnson is one of the top big men in college basketball and will be a difficult matchup for Jamie Skeen, while E'Twaun Moore is a tough cover on the perimeter. Shaka Smart's squad will have to play really well to continue to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

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