As the No. 12 seed in the South region of the 2012 NCAA tournament, the VCU Rams came into their matchup against the Wichita State Shockers with the confidence that they would "shock" the field.
And that is exactly what this team did.
After edging out Wichita State 62-59, the Rams are now 5-1 in their last six tournament games. It was just last season that despite another low seeding, the Rams were able to make a Final Four appearance against all odds.
This year with the win over the No. 5 seed in the South region, VCU is doing just that again in 2012—making a statement to the field of 64.
The Rams (29-6, 15-3 CAA) are doing it with just one senior on the team as well, as Bradford Burgess has been the leader on this relatively younger ballclub.
This season Burgess leads the team in scoring, with 13.4 points per game and ranks No. 2 on the team with 4.6 rebounds per contest.
This defensive-minded ballclub has been on a tear as of late, winning 18 of the team's last 19 games, as they are arguably the hottest team in the nation coming into the tournament.
Aside from Burgess' leadership and the experience from last year's run, this team seems to have an added confidence rallying behind head coach Shaka Smart. A player's coach who knows how to win basketball games has this team as confident as they ever have been in program history.
It's special to see a team outside of the major conferences boasting a renewed, special confidence, as does this ballclub. Heading into their third-round game against Indiana, as teams about the bracket have to be fearing just how lethal this team can be going forward, VCU doesn't hope to win, they expect it.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!