Like George Mason, the Rams were an at-large selection from the Colonial Athletic Association. Unlike the Patriots, VCU had to win five games, thanks to the new First Four play-in contest, to make its shocking Final Four run. Sparked by the relentless pressure scheme installed by coach Shaka Smart, the veteran Rams picked off college powers USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas to earn a berth in Houston.
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