Here’s a loss that could carry a stench into Selection Sunday: VCU just fell at 10-18 George Mason.
That would be the same VCU that was an 11 seed entering Wednesday in Jerry Palm’s bracket evaluation. This is a Rams team lacking a lot of room for error and still facing road games against George Washington and Dayton.
That’s the good and bad of it, though. VCU can get itself right if it wins those games, but of course, those will be very hard games to win. George Washington is also fighting for at-large consideration, and Dayton still can’t be considered a lock for the Big Dance. The Atlantic 10’s race at the top has become one of the most intriguing ones in February.
VCU went wrong on Wednesday by shooting 36.6 percent from the field. It fouled the Patriots 26 times (George Mason had just 16 fouls) and didn’t get much from anyone not named Melvin Johnson, who scored 24 points. Mason shot 50 percent from the field. This win will probably be the biggest for that team this season.
The Rams are now 20-8 (12-3 in the A-10) and lack a win in the nonconference over a team that’s anything close to at-large worthy. It’s going to take at least four more victories for VCU to be on the good side of the bubble, and maybe even then that won’t be enough. This was among the worst losses it could take. Winning on the road in league play is tough, but the committee pays attention to these games with teams in big spots. The very reason that they are tough is why bubble teams can often break through in the end.