Tuesday night VCU lost a heart-breaker to conference foe George Mason. The Rams look to get back to their winning ways by returning home for the 2012 Sear’s Bracketbusters and taking on Northern Iowa.
- What: VCU Rams (22-6, 13-3) host Northern Iowa Panthers (17-11, 7-9)
- Where: Stuart C. Siegel Center
- When: Friday, February 17th at 7pm
- Watch:ESPN2 and ESPN3
- Listen: 107.3 or Online
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Tuesday night VCU lost a heart-breaker to conference foe George Mason. The Rams look to get back to their winning ways by returning home for the 2012 Sear’s Bracketbusters. All across the nation mid-major teams will face off this weekend looking to pad their resumes for the NCAA tournament, NIT, or CBI. After Tuesdays loss, it appears the only route for the Rams to go dancing in March is through the CAA tournament, but Friday’s nationally televised game is still extremely important.
Regardless of their performance in the CAA tournament, VCU is post-season bound and the rest of the season will affect their seeding. The Rams have already posted an 11-game winning streak and an 8-game winning streak this season, now they look to start anew by winning six straight games and streaking their way into the “big dance.”
Now in 2nd place in the CAA, VCU’s chances of winning the regular season title are slim. VCU needs to win at UNC-Wilmington and beat George Mason in the Siegel Center, while Drexel needs to drop a game against either JMU or ODU. At this point in time, all VCU aims to do is win one game at a time. Last season they imploded in February, but they kept their eyes on the prize and great things happened.
Hailing from the extremely deep and talented Missouri-Valley Conference, the Panthers possess a very efficient offense. Don’t let their record fool you, the MVC is one of the premier mid-major conferences in the country, and the Panthers are a talented squad. They rank 28th nationally in offensive turnover percentage, 44th in offensive blocking percentage, and 27th in 3-point percentage. Their defense will likely give VCU fits as Northern Iowa ranks 11th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage. If the Rams are unable to force turnovers against the responsible Panthers, VCU will struggle to score and even a small deficit will spell trouble for the home team.
While he is only averaging 9.5PPG, freshman Seth Tuttle still deserves some serious respect. He is shooting an incredible 67% from the field, he is the Panthers most efficient rebounder, and while other Panthers have entered a slump, he is playing his best basketball of the season. The Panthers play a large rotation, so it will be interesting to see how many minutes the talented freshman plays Friday night.
Ken Pomeroy favors VCU to win 64-58 with a 71% chance of victory. The Rams have looked great at home, if they can force turnovers they should win.
Northern Iowa Profile
- Location: Cedar Fall, Iowa
- Enrollment: 13,000
- Conference:Missouri Valley Conference
- All time series:0-0
- Last meeting:N/A
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