- Score: #5 VCU 88, #12 Akron 42
- Records: VCU (27-8), Akron (26-7)
- Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, Mich.
- The Short Story: Senior Troy Daniels and junior Juvonte Reddic combined for 44 points as fifth-seeded VCU rolled to a dominating 88-42 win over 12th-seeded Akron. The Rams held the Zips to just 34.9-percent from the field, while forcing 22 turnovers en route to the second-largest margin of victory in NCAA Tournament history for any team lower than a third seed. Reddic's 21 points on the night helped him become the 32nd player in VCU history to reach 1,000 career points.
How it Happened
- The game started as a track meet with the teams trading buckets, but with the game tied at 6-6, VCU scored eight straight points, all of which came inside the paint to take a 14-6 lead with 15:14 left in the first half.
- Just minutes later, the Rams pushed their lead into double-figures and it would remain there for the rest of the night as VCU held the Zips to just four points over the final 5:30 of the first half to take a commanding 50-25 lead into halftime.
- A couple quick 3-pointers from Daniels took the lead into the 30s as VCU continued to overwhelm Akron on both sides of the court.
- The Rams went on to hold the Zips without a field and just two points total over a stretch of 10:11. Over that time, VCU went on a 19-2 run to increase their lead to 48 at 84-36.
- VCU would call off the press in the final five minutes as it went on to secure the 88-42 victory.
Beyond the Box Score
- Entering the night, Akron's previous six losses were by a combined 49 points. The loss tonight was by 46.
- The 46-point margin of victory was the second largest (next to only 47 by Syracuse, which was also tonight) by any third seed or higher in NCAA Tournament history.
- VCU's five upperclassmen (Daniels, Reddic, Darius Theus, David Hinton and Rob Brandenberg) now have the most NCAA Tournament victories in school history.
- After Thursday, the Rams are one of just four schools to post NCAA Tournament wins in each of the past three seasons (Gonzaga, Marquette and Syracuse are the others). Seven more have a chance to join that list on Friday.
- During the 10:15 of playing time for sophomore Briante Weber, Akron scored just two points.
Head Coach Shaka Smart
- "Our guys did a nice job tonight executing the plan. I got a ton of respect for Keith and his kids and their program. They got a great program. They had a phenomenal season. This was just a better matchup for us tonight, and that's why we were able to win. But the guys did a nice job. Juvonte, Rob, Troy and all their teammates really executed the things that we talked about over the last few days, and we were able to get the win. Now we're shifting our attention to the next game."
- "The Atlantic Ten's a great league. We played against some terrific teams. I think your preparation is based on the schedule you've played, both nonconference and conference, and we played as tough a schedule as VCU has ever played, and I think that that went a long way towards allowing us to get a five seed in the NCAA tournament and, you know, went a long way in having us ready to play tonight. But that by itself doesn't win you the game; you still go to go out and execute the plan."
Senior Troy Daniels
- "I didn't know that we were on a 24 to 7 run. We all bought into what Coach Smart wants us to do on the defensive end. We never know what the score is; we just out there playing."
- "Making shots helped a lot. I was making shots. We were getting to the press. That's great. We have, you know, a press where if we're missing shots we still can get in there, but it was just to our advantage when we were making shots we were able to get in our press and start defense."
- VCU will now take on fourth-seeded Michigan on Saturday afternoon. Tip time on CBS is set for 12:15 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.