VCU men’s basketball focuses ahead with NCAA tournament bid

Freshman guard Ace Baldwin dribbles against St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 championship game on March 14. Photo by Megan Lee

Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor

For men’s basketball, moving on is a core value. After falling to St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 championship game Saturday, the message from coach Mike Rhoades was to move on. 

“Move forward as coach Rhoades would say,” sophomore guard Bones Hyland said. “That’s one of our core values, just trying to move forward. That’s what we have to focus on.”

The Rams have a new game to focus on as they were selected as an at-large team to the NCAA tournament as a No. 10 seed. VCU will face No. 7 Oregon on March 20 in the first round in Indianapolis.

“I want our guys to move forward from this game with great pride in what they’ve done in this whole year,” Rhoades said. “This whole year is why we got into the NCAA tournament.”

VCU, a team that was picked to finish ninth in the A-10 preseason poll, has a combined eight freshmen and sophomores on the roster.

“Nobody thought we were going to be in the NCAA tournament this year,” Rhoades said. “We got a really young team, and as freshmen and sophomores, this young team got into the NCAA tournament. … That’s a big deal.”

The contest with the Ducks will be the second meeting between the two programs, the first in 2014 with the Rams winning 77-63 in the Legends Classic. 

“At the end of the day today, we’re going to get on a bus to go to Indianapolis because we had a season that put us in the NCAA tournament,” Rhoades said. “I’m super proud of our guys for that.”

 The Rams will play No. 7 Oregon in the NCAA tournament first round on Saturday in Indianapolis. 

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