The 2011 NCAA basketball tournament has produced more upsets than any March Madness in recent memory, and the No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams just etched themselves in the history books with a huge 71-61 upset of the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks in the Southwest regional final. And as an added bonus the Rams earned a trip to the Final Four in Houston.
And perhaps most surprisingly Virginia Commonwealth dominated this game from the opening tip off. VCU launched a barrage of three pointers in the opening minutes of the game (including three in two minutes by Jamie Skeen), and most went in, so they were up by double digits just seven minutes into the game.
The Jayhawks simply could not get their offense untracked this afternoon. While part of that can be laid at the feet of poor shooting, the Rams’ tough, swarming defense certainly had something to do with as well. Kansas dominated the paint as expected, with a +11 rebound differential, but their outside shooting was disastrous. Two for 22 from behind the three point arc will spell doom for any team, no matter how talented. And on the other side of the coin VCU was 12 for 26 for three pointers, a solid 46 percent. The Rams led 41-27 at the half.
Kansas did not give up with out a fight, however. The Jayhawks made a big run early in the second half and trimmed the lead to just four points, but VCU responded and it was back to a double digit lead by the 10 minute mark in the second half. It went back and forth from there, but Kansas looked a bit gassed and simply could not get the job done.
Virginia Commonwealth wins the Southwest region of the 2011 NCAA tournament and advances to play in the Final Four in Houston next weekend.
March Madness Southwest Region Final
(11) VCU 71
Kansas vs VCU Notes
Jamie Skeen exploded for VCU, throwing down 26 points including 4-7 from behind the three point arc. Brandon Rozzell chipped in 12 points for the Rams. Marcus Morris was the leading scorer for Kansas with 20 points and 15 rebounds, and his twin brother Markieff put up 13 points and 9 boards in the game. The three guards who played for the Jayhawks only made one basket each, for a combined 3 for 23 in the contest.
For more on college basketball and the 2011 NCAA tournament see:
NCAA Tournament Results – 2011 Round of 8 March Madness Scores
Elite 8 Preview and Schedule – 2011 NCAA Tournament