The VCU Rams came out firing, using their frenetic pace to jump out to an early lead as the Final Four got underway. VCU stuck to the script, jacking threes and pressing off made baskets in an effort to disrupt early, and it worked -- at least to start the game. But Butler made an adjustment after VCU began knocking down threes, extending its defense and limiting the Rams' good looks throughout the rest of the half.
With VCU up 15-9, Butler came flying right back, scoring six unanswered to level the score before beginning to pull away in the waning moments of the half. As the two teams traded buckets, Butler finally broke through, outscoring VCU 9-4 to end the half and take a 34-28 lead into the break.
Jamie Skeen picked up the slack for VCU in the post, scoring a team-high 12 points and making his only three-point attempt of the game. Bradford Burgess scored nine points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in the half for the Rams. Joey Rodriguez had a rough half, registering only two assists while failing to score.
For Butler, Shelvin Mack shouldered the scoring load in the first half with a team-high 13 points. Matt Howard was formidable on the inside with nine points and five rebounds, three of which came on the offensive end. Butler dominated the paint, grabbing eight offensive rebounds in the first half.
In 20 minutes, one of these two mid-majors will earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament Championship to take on either Kentucky or UConn. Stay tuned to our Final Four results StoryStream for more on the game and check out SB Nation's VCU vs. Butler live-blog for instant reactions.