For a school whose alumni include David Baldacci, Stephen “Flounder” Furst, the band GWAR, Dr. “Patch” Adams, Mark Waid and, my personal favorite, Mike Wieringo...(not to mention having the distinction of being where I first met the lovely Suzanne)...VCU sure didn’t get any respect from the pundits when they were named an “at large” pick for the NCAA tournament this year. And this, even after they caught national attention when they knocked Duke out of the tourney back in 2007. It was called, and I quote, “the worst decision” the committee had ever made. People were shaking their heads and laughing. Well, who’s laughing now, suckas? For the first time in VCU history, we’re heading to the Sweet Sixteen, facing Florida State next Friday. If the Florida State coaches are smart, they won’t write us off as a chip shot. VCU has been wiping the floor with their opponents with their “Chaos Defense”, full-court press, spectacular three-pointers and mind-boggling free throw percentage. And nobody seems to know just what to do with my new hero, Joey Rodriguez. At 5’10”, he still manages to be everywhere on the court at once, powers unstoppably to the basket only to unselfishly pass the ball to a teammate who scores and gets in the faces of much larger guys, throwing off their shots. Is there not a place in the NBA for someone with this much heart and skill?
Oh, and by the way...with the University of Richmond also shocking the NCAA, the little bitty city I live in now represents 12.5% of the Sweet Sixteen. As Charles Barkley put it, the city of Richmond now has as many teams in the Sweet Sixteen as the Big East Conference. There’s a real possibility that VCU and UofR could face each other in the next round. This town would explode.