Kentucky: 14th trip to the Final Four and seven national championships. Connecticut: fourth trip in a dozen years with two national championships. Butler: second consecutive trip. VCU: are you kidding me?
Quick… name a former VCU player who made it to the NBA? (There have only been seven; the one you may have heard of is Gerald Henderson who played 13 seasons. Kentucky is only slightly ahead with 77 NBA players.)
VCU was likely the last team to make the newly expanded 68-team NCAA field. On Selection Sunday, ESPN’s Jay Bilas said of the then 23-11 Rams: “You talk about the eye test, this doesn’t make it through the laugh test.”
All VCU did to reach its first-ever Final Four here in Houston was win a play-in game against USC, then beat Georgetown (5 Final Fours, two titles), Purdue (2 Final Fours), Florida State (1 Final Four) and Kansas (13 Final Fours, three titles). If by some chance they overcome Butler and take down the UK/UConn winner to claim the championship, it would be a bigger upset than an amateur winning next week’s Masters golf tournament. At 170-1 odds before the tournament began, VCU is a bigger long shot than Mr. Ed would have been against Northern Dancer in the 1964 Kentucky Derby.
The next time members of your team are feeling down because they aren’t winning more on the court of business success, remind them about the little schools that could from Indianapolis and Richmond. All your players may need is a reason to believe… even if they’re currently the last choice in some expert’s bracket.