Location: Richmond, VA
Conference: Atlantic 10
Coach: Shaka Smart
Kenpom ranking: 30
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): Northern Iowa (12), Davidson x2 (32), Cincinnati (34)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): St. Bonaventure (107), La Salle (101)
Tournament appearances: 13
Best result: Final Four (2011)
NBA alumni: Gerald Henderson, Larry Sanders
Best name: Mo Alie-Cox
Famous alumni: Patch Adams, Brandon Inge
It's been a rollercoaster for the Rams. At one point, they had a 12-game winning streak, but then they lost Briante Weber, the crux of the team's ful-court press for the season with an ACL injury. A tailspin began. The Rams lost six of 10 headed into the A10 Tournament... and then they went out and won the damn thing. So which team will show up in the tourney? The squad whose key player got hurt for the year, or the resurgent squad from the conference tourney?
Style of play: Havoc
Shaka Smart's signature is a frenzied, 100-percent defense he calls "havoc," with the Rams playing full-court press for 40 minutes, starting defense as soon as they score on offense. VCU forces a ton of turnovers before their opponent even passes the mid-court line, which in turn leads to easy buckets. Once you cross half court, things get easier, but you've already wasted a lot of time and energy -- and you still have to deal with shot blocker Mo Alie-Cox.
Key player: Graham
While VCU focuses on hardcore press defense, Graham provides the offense, and has led the team in scoring three seasons running. An imposing 6'6, the senior is helpful when the game settles into the half-court defense: He's a strong perimeter defender, a quality and a good jump shooter. The DC native missed three games for the Rams -- two losses and a close win over lowly Duquesne.