Saturday, April 2, 2011

Final Four: Butler vs. VCU

It's finally here! After months of the regular season, a week of conference games, and three weeks of madness, the NCAA finally has it's Final Four set. Ohio State will get set to play...Oh wait, sorry that's wrong. Let's try again. Kansas will prepare to face a tough...wait, that's not right either. Hmmm...I got it! Butler is getting set to take on VCU. Who? Yes, VCU from Richmond, VA. I know it's been discussed a lot but think about it. A school that has 4,000 students just outside Indianapolis vs. what some would call a "mid major" in the heart of Virginia's capital. Butler, after struggling in the beginning of the season, has turned up the heat throughout the tournament. Led by junior gaurd Shelvin Mack, who averages 15.9 ppg along with 3.6 assists, the Bulldogs are tougher than ever as their big man Matt Howard also domiantes the boards every game. For VCU, well they certainly have "Shaka-ed" the world as Coach Shaka Smart has his program clicking on all cylinders. In order for VCU to do the unthinkable and go from the play-in game to the championship, junior Bradford Burgess, who contributes 14.3 ppg, will have to have a superb performance as his speedy teammate, Joey Rodriguez, will try to dash by the Butler defenders in order to create open shots. So who should you pick to win this game? Whichever team you believe is no longer a "cinderella" and can be a king of college basketball.

Keys to the Game: VCU's three pointers vs. Butler's defense Matt Howard's scoring ability Ability to control momentum

Pregame Speeches: " Welcome back boys, you've done it again. Feels nice to be back in the Final Four huh? It feels nice to be here, but I sure know that it didn't feel nice leaving last year without that trophy. We are Butler and will beat this team. Yes they are the team most people want to win, but prove that you deserve to be here a second time. Prove that you can dominate this game. Prove that you are no joke and are better than them. We are Butler...that's what your jerseys say. Play like a Butler Bulldog and you will be a champion. So who are you? "Butler" or "some team who is in the Final Four?" - Brad Stevens, Butler Head Coach

"Look around. Understand where you are. Understand that this game is everything you've worked for the past three weeks. The pain, come from behind wins, playing in hostile environments and winning are things you've all come to know. I'm right there with ya. This game is yours. You are no longer a "mid major" or a "cinderella" team. You are VCU. So forget the lights, cameras, and any distractions. Just play VCU basketball, because Rams basketball is you. You will be win. Now go get it." -Shaka Smart, VCU Head Coach


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