by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
VCU, the source of so many upsets in last year’s tournament, picked up the first one of this year’s tournament as it barely held on to beat Wichita State, 62-59.
Using its full court press, the Rams built up a nine-point lead at the half. But the Shockers made the adjustment and after chipping away at the deficit all half, took a 59-57 lead on a Toure’ Murry three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the Rams’ Bradford Burgess answered with a three-pointer of his own on the next possession. Burgess finished with a game-high 16 points.
Wichita State had a chance to tie on its final possession, but a three-pointer from center Garrett Stutz did not fall. Stutz, who was the team’s leading scorer coming in, finished with 4 points on 2-for-11 shooting.
After the game, the Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall felt VCU was seeded too low.
“They’re a pretty good basketball team – pretty obvious,” Marshall said. “Forty-four teams in the country, I guess, are better than them. So that’s hard to imagine.”
VCU will look to continue its tournament magic when it plays Indiana on Saturday. The Hoosiers defeated New Mexico State 79-66 in their first game.