No one thought that Shaka Smart and his Virginia Commonwealth University Rams would be able to duplicate their remarkable 2010-11 season, which saw the Rams make a run to the Final Four as one of three teams from the Colonial Athletic Association to be invited to the tournament.
Smart's Rams were only returning one starter from last year's Final Four team: senior Bradford Burgess. But so far, they have managed to prove their doubters wrong the old-fashioned way: being nearly impossible to beat or game plan for.
The Rams finished the regular season with a record of 25-6 overall, including 15-3 in CAA play. Their calling card is a stifling full-court press defense called Havoc, which resulted in the Rams recording a CAA record 363 steals this past season.
VCU is led by Burgess (13.3 points per game), Juvonte Reddic (10.6 points per game), and Troy Daniels (10.0 points per game). Reddic and Burgess also handle most of the rebounding duties, averaging 6.8 and 4.9 rebounds per game, respectively.
The Rams begin the 2012 NCAA Tournament as a No. 12 seed in the South Region and will play their first game on Thursday, March 15 against No. 5 Wichita State in Portland, Oregon.
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