The USC Trojans made the 2011 NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, but just barely. They will be playing Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday for a shot at a No. 11 seed in the Tournament and a date with the Goergetown Hoyas. The game will be played at 6:10 p.m. and can be seen on TruTV. Luckily for all of us, it will be called by Gus Johnson and Len Elmore.
VCU plays all the way on the other side of the Country, so they are a little bit of a mystery. For more on the Rams, we turn to SB Nation's tournament primer.
The last time a Colonial Athletic Association team was a controversial at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament, George Mason put the Madness in March, advancing all the way to the Final Four. Coach Shaka Smart’s Virginia Commonwealth University Rams hope to follow the same script in their first trip to the Big Dance since they stunned Duke in 2009.
The Rams are an athletic, experienced squad, capable of creating turnovers in bunches. 6’9" senior Jamie Skeen led a balanced offense with 15.3 points per game, grabbing 7.5 rebounds per contest. Versatile 6’6" junior Bradford Burgess scored 14.0 ppg, pulled down 6.1 boards, and led the Rams in three-point accuracy, draining just over 40 percent of his longballs. 5’10 senior point guard Joey Rodriguez is VCU’s emotional leader, contributing 10.6 points and nearly 5 assists per game. Senior guard Brandon Rozzell also averages double figures, chipping in 11.3 per game.
USC is certainly the biggest name, and VCU might be the biggest surprise inclusion in the field this year, but there is no such thing as an easy game in the NCAA Tournament, particularly when both of the teams are around the same level as these too are.