Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New year, new upset for VCU

VCU’s Darius Theus makes a shot in the final seconds of the game against Garrett Stutz of Wichita State. The 12th-seeded Rams are used to pulling off upsets, having reached the Final Four last season.

Getty Images

VCU’s Darius Theus makes a shot in the final seconds of the game against Garrett Stutz of Wichita State. The 12th-seeded Rams are used to pulling off upsets, having reached the Final Four last season.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Bradford Burgess hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 left and Shaka Smart coached VCU to another tournament surprise, holding off Wichita State 62-59 Thursday night.

The 12th-seeded Rams (29-6) led by 13 in the second half. The Shockers closed to 54-53 on Garrett Stutz's layup with 5:39 left. Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer for the Rams, and Joe Ragland answered with a 3 for Wichita State.

Toure Murry made a 3 that gave Wichita State the lead, but Burgess came back with his big shot to give the Rams a 60-59 edge. Darius Theus' runner from about 6 feet provided the final margin. Stutz missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer for fifth-seeded Wichita State (26-6).

Burgess scored 16 for the Rams, who last year beat Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas in becoming the third No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four.

"This team has shown that in its own right, it's a terrific team," Smart said. "People are going to want to compare. In a lot of ways, we've done better than what last year's team did."

Defending champion ousted

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Chris Allen led four players in double figures with 20 points as eighth-seeded Iowa State beat ninth-seeded Connecticut 77-64.

It's only the second time the Huskies have lost their opening tournament game.

"I'm surprised as anybody, clearly," coach Jim Calhoun said. "I imagine our players are, too."

Iowa State (23-10) led by as many as 22 in the first half. Ryan Boatright made three consecutive baskets to pull Connecticut (20-14) within 58-52 with 8:24 to play. But the Huskies got no closer, going scoreless for about 51/2 minutes.

As the game wound down, the Cyclones' Royce White, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds, pointed at Iowa State's radio crew and said, "I told you, didn't I?"

Kentucky 81, W. Kentucky 66: Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds and fellow sophomore Doron Lamb scored 16 as the top-seeded Wildcats (33-2) routed the 16th-seeded Hilltoppers (16-19) in Louisville, Ky.

"For this to be the first NCAA game for us, freshmen are usually — well I know I was last year — just a little nervous about all the pressure put on us. And it wasn't even as much pressure last year as it is this year," Jones said. "I just wanted to tell everybody to have fun and run. We just got going from there."

Baylor 68, South Dakota St. 60: The third-seeded Bears (28-7) rallied against the 14th-seeded Jackrabbits (27-8) in Albuquerque, N.M. South Dakota State took a 12-point lead early then fought back from a double-digit deficit in the closing minutes.

"In the beginning of the game, we showed our jitters a little bit," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Then after that, I was very pleased with how we calmed down and got back to playing basketball."

Indiana 79, New Mexico St. 66: The fourth-seeded Hoosiers, who missed the tournament the past four seasons, earned their first win since 2007 in Portland, Ore. Jordan Hulls made 8 of 12 shots to score 22 for Indiana (26-8). He scored 11 straight during one stretch, including three 3-pointers. The last gave Indiana a 62-41 lead with 11:14 left, and the 13th-seeded Aggies (26-10) didn't get closer than 12 from there.

Champs to out

Defending champions who failed to win their opening games the following season since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985:

Team Year Result
UConn 2012 Lost 77-64 to Iowa St.
Florida 2009 Did not make tourney
UCLA 1996 Lost 43-41 to Princeton
Kansas 1989 Banned from tourney
Indiana 1988 Lost 72-69 to Richmond
Louisville 1987 Did not make tourney
Villanova 1986 Did not make tourney

New year, new upset for VCU 03/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 6:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …