The VCU Rams have crashed the party, going from First Four to Final Four with a 71-61 win over the Kansas in the Elite Eight. VCU continued its bracket-busting run, keeping the dream alive with clutch shooting, excellent execution and strong defense to keep the potent Kansas offense in check and rid the 2011 NCAA Tournament of its final No. 1 seed.
VCU came storming out of the gate to take a 41-27 lead at the half, leaving Kansas reeling early while America dreamed of another big upset. But Kansas came storming back in the second, closing the gap to just four early in the second half and stealing the momentum away from the upset-minded Rams.
But, as it has all tournament, VCU absorbed the punches and swung back with haymakers of their own, never surrendering the lead while keeping Kansas just out of reach.
Free throw woes plagued Kansas all game long as the Jayhawks failed to capitalize on freebies when it mattered most -- the Jayhawks shot 53.6 percent from the charity stripe, making only 15 of 28 shots. Three-point shooting was also an issue as Kansas shot just 9.1 percent from beyond the arc, hitting two of 22, while VCU connected on 12 of 25 shots from long range.
Jamie Skeen scored a team-high 26 points for the Rams. Bradford Rozzell was also in double-figures, adding 12 points off the bench, all on three-pointers. Marcus Morris led the way for Kansas with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
VCU moves on to face Butler in the Final Four, set for April 2 in Houston.
Here’s a look at the updated bracket halfway through Sunday’s Elite Eight games. You can find the updated printable bracket at SB Nation, as well.
No. 2 UNC vs. No. 4 Kentucky
No. 11 VCU Rams def. No. 1 Kansas, 71-61
No. 8 Butler def. No. 2 Florida, 74-71
We’ll be recapping all the games, and updating the bracket, here in our NCAA Tournament results StoryStream. Stay tuned and check back for updates throughout the weekend.