Saturday's second CAA quarterfinal between fourth-seeded George Mason and fifth-seeded VCU had all of the appearances of an instant classic, as two closely matched teams were playing for their postseason lives in an electric atmosphere that was a true example of why March is so unique.
VCU's Brandon Rozzell made sure that wasn't the case, however. He hit a trio of threes in a less than two minute span, with the first coming when the score was deadlocked 53, to push the Rams past fourth-seeded George Mason in Saturday afternoon's second CAA quarterfinal. The final score: VCU 75, George Mason 60.
The Patriots led by three at halftime, and it looked like this one was going to go right down to the wire. However, George Mason cooled off late, only managing two field goals in the final 5:31, and one of those was a Sherrod Wright dunk in garbage time.
VCU took advantage, outscoring George Mason 22 to seven over the final six and a half minutes.
Larry Sanders had another monster game for the Rams, scoring 17 and grabbing 12 rebounds. Rodriguez also had 17, while dishing out five assists. Rozzell ended up with 12, as he went four-for-eight from beyond the arc.
Ryan Pearson's 10-for-12, 22 point performance went for naught, as George Mason misses the semifinals for the first time since 2005.
Sunday's semifinal between VCU and top-seeded Old Dominion is a rematch of the same round from last season. In 2009, the team's positions were reversed and the Rams were the regular season champs and prohibitive favorites. They prevailed on their way to the tournament championship and an 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This season, Old Dominion and VCU met twice, with each winning on their own floor. The rubber match is Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.