March 11, 2012


RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU men's basketball team has known for a week that they were headed to "The Big Dance."

On Sunday night, the Rams finally learned their dancing partner and where the dance was going to start as VCU will travel to Portland for the Second and Third Rounds of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The 12th-seeded Black & Gold will take on Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season Champion Wichita State, the fifth-seed in the South Region.

The Rams have already tied a school-record with 28 victories on the year and will be looking to break that record when they battle the Shockers on Thursday.

VCU will be making its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, marking the first time since 1983-85 that the Rams have made back-to-back trips to "The Big Dance."

Since Head Coach Shaka Smart and his staff took over the reins of the program in 2009, the Rams have posted an 83-27 record, the eighth-most wins in the country over that span. Smart and his staff are 17-3 in postseason tournaments, including a perfect 3-0 in this year's CAA Tournament, which gave VCU its fifth CAA Championship.

Wichita State was the MVC Regular Season Champions, boasting a 27-5 record.  However, the Shockers were upset in semifinals of the MVC Tournament, falling 65-64 against Illinois State on Saturday.  Wichita State, ranked No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 15 in the AP poll, have won 17 of its last 19 games.


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