Recap: Wichita State vs. VA Commonwealth
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The 12th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth Rams pulled off the first upset of the 2012 NCAA Tournament Thursday night by taking down the fifth-seeded Wichita State Shockers, 62-59, in the second round.
Bradford Burgess made a three-pointer with 1 1/2 minutes remaining to give the Rams a 60-59 lead. After Garrett Stutz missed an easy layup at the other end, Darius Theus made a floater in the lane to make it a three-point contest.
Following a timeout with 12 seconds to play, Stutz was off the mark with a shot from beyond the arc.
"My initial role was I was supposed to be the screener for a weak side fake screen for a shooter," Stutz said. "I was kind of the last option at the top, when VCU read the play well. So ended up setting a ball screen, by the time I got the ball I knew there wasn't enough time to go for a two. Couldn't have been more than two or three seconds left."
Burgess had 16 points for the Rams (29-6), who made it to the Final Four last year. Theus and Troy Daniels each tallied 10 points.
VCU, which won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title game, set a school record for wins in a season with Thursday's victory. The Rams will play fourth-seeded Indiana in the third round of the South Region on Saturday.
"We wanted to use that as motivation for this year," Burgess said about being a No. 12 seed. "But this is a different team with different goals and different identity. We have different guys doing different things than last year's team. We wanted to make our mark on this year's tournament."
Joe Ragland ended with 15 points for the Shockers (27-6), who were playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season, when they reached the Sweet 16.
Ragland's three-pointer and Stutz's layup had the Shockers within one, 54-53, with over 5 1/2 minutes to play.
The next points of the game didn't come until there was less than three minutes left, when Daniels made a three-pointer to give the Rams a 57-53 margin.
Ragland responded with a shot from beyond the arc to make it a one-point contest. Wichita State then used some good defense to force a turnover, which led to Toure' Murry's three-pointer from the corner for a 59-57 edge.
But Burgess made a three-pointer from the corner at the other end to give VCU a 60-59 lead with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Rams controlled play early on with their full-court press. Holding a 28-25 margin with 2:18 left in the first half, VCU scored the final six points of the frame to take a 34-25 edge into the locker room.
Wichita State used full-court pressure early in the second half to close the gap. Trailing by 13, 46-33, with 13:41 to go, the Shockers scored seven straight points. David Kyles' layup and three-pointer made it 46-40.
VCU maintained that margin and held a 54-48 lead with 7:48 remaining.Game Notes
VCU leads the all-time series with Wichita State, 2-1...The Rams have won 18 of their last 19 games...VCU is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and fourth in the past six years...The Shockers won the competitive Missouri Valley Conference's regular season title...Wichita State made its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history...Murry and Carl Hall each had 10 points for the Shockers. Hall also pulled down 10 rebounds.