NCAA Bracket 2011: No. 11 VCU Blows Out No. 3 Purdue, 94-76, To Make First Sweet 16

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NCAA Bracket Update: VCU Basketball Hammers Purdue To Make First-Ever Sweet 16

VCU basketball's March Madness run continues, with the Rams blowing away Big Ten power Purdue, 94-76. Days after blowing out heavy favorite Georgetown, the Commonwealth made Purdue look equally silly. Not bad for a team that had to beat USC just to enter the field of 64, right?

Bradford Burgess match JaJuan Johnson's 25 points, putting together a blazing 57 percent shooting with the rest of his teammates. Burgess added eight boards. Joey Rodriguez kicked in 12 points and 10 assists.

VCU will move on to play either Notre Dame or FSU on Friday in San Antonio. They'll linger near the court to find out their draw, as the game will be played shortly after. Is there any team in the country that would look forward to playing VCU right now? Well, Ohio State doesn't seem too scared of the CAA, but you know what I mean.

For more on this game, VCU fans should visit Mid Major Madness, and Purdue fans should visit Hammer And Rails and SB Nation Indiana.

The updated Southwest region bracket can be found below or check out our full 2011 NCAA Tournament printable bracket.



No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Illinois, Sunday, March 20, 8:40 p.m., TNT

No. 12 Richmond defeats No. 13 Morehead State, 65-48; will play Kansas/Illinois winner

No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Florida State, Sunday, March 20, 9:40 p.m.

No. 11 VCU defeats No. 3 Purdue, 94-76


NCAA Tournament Scores: VCU Surprising Purdue, Lead By 10 At Halftime

We know that George Mason won't be this year's George Mason. Could CAA rival VCU step into the void? The No. 11 seeded Rams, who already defeated USC and Georgetown, now have a 42-32 halftime lead over No. 3 seed Purdue, with the winner earning a bid to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA bracket.

The Rams ripped off a 17-2 run midway through the half, and led by as many as 13 points. The Rams are still shooting the lights out, hitting 50 percent of their field goals. Brandon Rozzell and Bradford Burgess have 10 points each for Shaka Smart's club, who was a highly-criticized at-large selection. 

Ryne Smith has 14 points to lead Purdue, while JaJuan Johnson added nine. E'Twaun Moore has struggled early on, with just four points.

SB Nation's Purdue blog Hammer and Rails has coverage of the Boilermakers' NCAA Tournament rub, while our SB Nation D.C. has plenty of VCU coverage.

Other March Madness resources: Our updated printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket... the full March Madness schedule.   


NCAA Bracket 2011: No. 3 Purdue Vs. No. 11 VCU

The Southwest Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket is the most upset-ravaged of them all. Can VCU, the only team with two wins through the Second Round of this March Madness, put another jagged line on the 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule with a win over Purdue? We'll find out at 7:10 p.m. Eastern from Chicago with Spiro Dedes and Bob Wenzel on the call for TBS.

The Boilermakers have been one of the less-discussed elite teams in college basketball all season; thank Robbie Hummel's torn ACL for that. But Purdue has been quietly excellent all year, and housed St. Peter's 65-43 in the Second Round. Seniors E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson key the Boilers, who look to one or the other on more than half of their offensive possessions. And Purdue's defense has been superb, only allowing more than 70 points in one nightmarish trip to Columbus to play Ohio State. Fun wrinkle: if Purdue and Richmond meet in the Elite Eight, it will be a rematch of a game from last November ... that the Spiders won.

Virginia Commonwealth's path to this point has been a bit rockier. The Rams beat USC in Dayton, then throttled Georgetown in the Second Round, and will be the only team playing three games in six days this week. That's not to say that Shaka Smart's team and his "havoc" system won't be enough, though: despite losing five of their last eight in the regular season, VCU has gotten red hot in the postseason, claiming four wins (three by double digits over George Mason, USC, and Georgetown) in five games, and losing only to an Old Dominion team that took Butler to the buzzer. If Brandon Rozzell and Joey Rodriguez can force turnovers and come away with steals, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Rams play their way into the Sweet Sixteen.

Star Watch: Rodriguez, an undersized point guard, is not the straw that stirs VCU's drink (that's talented forward Jamie Skeen), but when he has it going from distance, the Rams win: when Rodriguez has hit three or more threes in a game this year, VCU has won.

Prediction: VCU's storybook run nearly gets the ending Smart and his squad want, but Purdue is just a little too big and a little too deep for the upstart Rams, winning 69-64.

More Reading: SB Nation's Purdue blog Hammer and Rails has coverage of the Boilermakers' NCAA Tournament rub, while our SB Nation DC has plenty of VCU coverage.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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