Official word from VCU Athletics.
The Rams are headed to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament after they were selected as an at-large berth Sunday. VCU is seeded 10th in the West Region and will take on seventh-seeded Oregon in the first round on Saturday in Indianapolis. Tip-off times and television network information will be available shortly.
VCU and Oregon have faced each other once previously, when the Rams topped the Ducks 77-63 in the 2014 Legends Classic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
It will be the 18th NCAA appearance in school history and the 12th since 2004. VCU last appeared in the tournament in 2019 when they took on Central Florida in the first round. The 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by fourth-year Head Coach Mike Rhoades and A-10 Player of the Year Bones Hyland, the Rams (19-7) placed second in the A-10 Conference this season and reached the league’s championship game.
A Short Tale of Two Basketball Programs: VUU = No Spectators Due to Covid19 VS. VCU = Bring Your Unvaccinated Baby for Chance at $529
VCU has a form for parents to fill out so that their child can race other babies as part of a halftime promotion.
Two local colleges are taking vastly different approaches to deal with the latest surge in Covid-19 Omicron cases.
Virginia Union University has decided the risk to their students and fans is too great and has closed all basketball games to spectators. They made the following statement on January 3rd.
Virginia Union University Athletics has announced that there will be a new “No Fan/Spectator” policy for its men’s and women’s basketball games in Barco-Stevens Hall until further notice.
Student-athlete and campus safety is the main concern and reason for the temporary policy. The University is committed to implementing and maintaining a range of measures to help promote health and well-being among students, employees, and campus visitors and to help reduce risk from potential exposure and spread of COVID-19.
Only essential personnel will be permitted in Barco-Stevens Hall, which includes participating team members, coaches, officials, athletic trainers, scorer’s table personnel and administrative staff.
Virginia Commonwealth University on the other hand has continued to allow fans but kept a loosely enforced mask mandate.
VCU has decided to increase the difference between the two programs by hosting a “Diaper Derby”. In case you are unfamiliar, a Diaper Derby involves letting young children crawl a set distance and the winner collects a prize, in this case, $529 for college. The twist is that the Covid vaccination is currently not available for any person under the age of 5, so none of the babies will be vaccinated.
January 12th CNN reported on the surge in Covid cases among children.
Covid-19 hospitalization rates among children are soaring in the United States, with an average of 4.3 children under 5 per 100,000 hospitalized with an infection as of the week ending January 1, up from 2.6 children the previous week, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This represents a 48% increase from the week ending December 4, and the largest increase in hospitalization rate this age group has seen over the course of the pandemic.
“For our youngest children, those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, it’s critically important that we surround them with people who are vaccinated to provide them protection,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday.
Here is what VCU Athletics tweeted out last night.
The Derby is back👶! The Virginia 529 Diaper Derby will be at the February 5th Men’s Basketball game. Sign up your baby at the link below for a chance to be selected to crawl across the hardwood.
— VCU Athletics (@VCUAthletics) January 20, 2022
The fact that college athletics is going on at all is a debate for another time.
Photos and Game Summary: Rams Downed by Davidson
The Rams gave up the lead late in the second half and Davidson kept it that way.
Score: Davidson 63, VCU 61
Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 10-6 (3-2 Atlantic 10), Davidson 15-2 (5-0)
The short story: VCU senior forward Vince WIlliams Jr. poured in a team-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but a late run by Davidson helped push the Wildcats past the Rams in a hard-fought Atlantic 10 Conference contest Tuesday night.
- Sophomore guard Ace Baldwin Jr. supplied 10 points, dished out a team-high seven assists and ripped five steals for the Rams, while senior guard KeShawn Curry contributed 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field
- Williams connected on 4-of-7 from three-point range, tying a season-high total
- Junior forward Hason Ward added eight points and pulled in three rebounds for the Black and Gold
- Luka Brajkovic led all scorers with 19 points and added six rebounds to lead the Wildcats
- VCU held a 59-53 lead with 5:23 remaining in the second half but a three-pointer from Brajkovic sparked a 9-0 run from the Wildcats that gave them 62-59 they would not surrender. Foster Loyer hit a pair of free throws with 2:47 remaining to give Davidson a 60-59 lead. Curry pulled the Rams within 62-61 with a fast break layup with 16.6 left, but VCU could get no closer
- Davidson owned a 32-20 advantage in rebounds and a 10-2 lead in second-chance points
- A Williams three-pointer to open the scoring for VCU in the second half sparked a 15-5 run that was enough for VCU to overcome a 36-28 first half deficit and take a 43-41 lead with 14:33 remaining in the contest
- Davidson owned 10-point leads in each half, only to see VCU fight back
- VCU forced 17 Davidson turnovers. The Rams used those miscues to outscore the Wildcats 26-5 on turnover opportunities
- The all-time series between these two schools now sits at 8-8
- Williams has now scored in doubles in each of his last five games
The Rams host Saint Joseph’s on Saturday, Jan. 22 for a 2:30 p.m. tip at the Siegel Center. The game will air on USA Network.
Photos and Game Summary: VCU Trounce GW
Score: VCU 84, George Washington 57
Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 10-4 (3-0 Atlantic 10), George Washington 4-10 (0-2)
The short story: Sophomore guard Ace Baldwin Jr. scored a career-high 16 points as the Rams cruised to an 84-57 victory Tuesday night over George Washington
- In addition to his career-high in points, Baldwin tied his career high in rebounds with six and added four assists. He shot 5-of-8 from the field and buried a career-best 4-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc
- Senior forward Vince Williams Jr. added 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and a career-high eight assists for the Black and Gold
- Senior guard KeShawn Curry chipped in 13 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and an assist for VCU, while freshman forward Jalen DeLoach grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and blocked three shots
- James Bishop led all scorers for George Washington with 16 points
- After the Colonials took a 5-3 lead early in the first half, the Rams embarked on a 13-0 run, capped off by a three-point jumper by Baldwin. Baldwin scored 11 of his 16 points and shot 3-of-3 from three in the first half. The Rams held a comfortable 42-22 lead heading into halftime
- George Washington sparked a 9-0 run with 6:10 left in the second half to cut the Rams’ lead to 15, but was unable to come any closer as the Rams closed the game on a 16-4 run to secure the victory
- VCU shot a season-high 44 percent (10-of-23) from beyond the arc
- The Rams outscored the Colonials 24-8 on points from turnovers
- The Black and Gold recorded 19 assists and 11 blocks
- The game was the first home game for the Rams since Dec. 15 after COVID-19 protocols canceled or postponed four straight home contests
- The Rams extended their season-best win streak to seven
- VCU has defeated George Washington five straight times and improved to 17-3 all-time against the Colonials
The Rams travel to Olean, N.Y. on Friday, Jan. 14 for a road contest against reigning Atlantic 10 Champion St. Bonaventure at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2.