NCAA Tournament: Richmond Gives No. 5 Vandy Another Early Exit

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March Madness Scores: Richmond Holds On To Upset Vanderbilt

The top of the Southwest Region NCAA Tournament bracket has now been busted. No. 12 seed Richmond held on to defeat No. 5 seed Vanderbilt, 69-66, and will face No. 13 seed Morehead State in the second round on Saturday.

Kevin Anderson scored 25 points, including two huge ones in the closing seconds to give Richmond a three-point lead. Vanderbilt tried to get a quick two pointer on the ensuing possession, but Richmond stole the ball away. The Commodores had one more chance after a missed free throw, but Ron Odom missed a three-pointer that was heavily-covered in the closing seconds. 

Vanderbilt led for much of the game, but Anderson caught fire midway through the second half, hitting three three-pointers in a row to turn a six-point deficit into a three-point lead.

For more on this game, Vanderbilt fans should visit Anchor of Gold.

Here's the updated look at the Southwest region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.    

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Boston University, March 18, 6:50 p.m., TBS

No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Illinois, March 18, 9:20 p.m., TBS

No. 12 Richmond def. No. 5 Vanderbilt, 69-66

No. 13 Morehead State def. No. 4 Louisville, 62-61

No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Akron, March 18, 1:40 p.m., TBS

No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Florida State, March 18, 4:10 p.m, TBS

No. 6 Georgetown vs. No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth, March 18, 9:50 p.m., TNT

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 St. Peter's, March 18, 7:20 p.m., TNT

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NCAA Tournament Update: Richmond Fights Back, Down Just Three To Vanderbilt At Halftime

The No. 12 seed Richmond Spiders were a classic upset pick to many, but that wasn't looking so good when No. 5 seed Vanderbilt took a double-digit lead in their 2011 NCAA Tournament second-round matchup. However, the Spiders rallied, and now trail just 35-32 at halftime.

The Commodores opened up a 29-18 lead, but Richmond rallied and went on a 14-6 run to close the half, punctuated by leading scorer Justin Harper's first basket of the game in the final seconds.

Festus Ezeli leads the way for Vanderbilt with 13 points, while Kevin Anderson has nine on 10 shots for the Spiders. But Ezeli was also involved in one of the lower moments of the game when he elbowed Richmond center Dan Geriot in the head going for a rebound. Play was stopped for several minutes as the referees cleaned up the blood that had spilled on the court. Ezeli was called for an intentional foul on the play.

For more on this game, Vanderbilt fans should visit Anchor of Gold.

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.

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NCAA Bracket, Previews and Predictions: Vanderbilt Vs. Richmond

If you are looking for a realistic shot at the classic 5 vs. 12 upset in the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket, then this is your game. Richmond dominated the Atlantic 10 while Vanderbilt struggled with a weak SEC schedule at times, especially teams that enjoyed cohesion much like the Spiders do. 

Check your NCAA Tournament schedule here for all of the games.

Star Watch: Balanced role definition is perhaps the most apt description for Vanderbilt. In the backcourt, Jenkins is the SEC’s leading scorer, and Brad Tinsley leads the league in assists. Big man Festus Ezeli is an efficient post player inside, and he provides that eraser presence on defense. A steady rotation of Lance Goulbourne, Steve Tchiengang, and Rod Odom provide requisite interior size support.  Jeffery Taylor is the X-factor, when he plays well the Commodores usually win.

As for the 12 seed, Richmond's dynamic duo of point guard Kevin Anderson and athletic power forward Justin Harper are high-major caliber players. Throw in the passing wizardry of point forward Dan Geriot out of the low post, and the puzzle pieces fit together well enough for the Spiders to make a run.

Prediction:  Again, defined roles and cohesion should help carry the day for the Spiders.  Vanderbilt seems like a team still in search of its identity and that's not a good place to be when facing a well coached Richmond squad that knows exactly who they are.  For that reason, the Spider's should win by five.  66 to 61.

Get your updated printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.

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