When the 2011 tournament seeds were announced, many analysts were appalled that Virginia Commonwealth University was even in the tournament. “There was a reason why none of us brought up UAB and VCU as having a chance to get in,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas after the teams were selected. “It’s because they had no chance to get in.” Well, they did get in, and they used the public groaning as motivation. VCU, which was one of the First Four that had to participate in one of the new play-in games, competed in one more match than most other squads and in the process knocked off powerhouse teams from the five power conferences, including Georgetown, Purdue and Kansas, a No. 1 seed. They’re only the third 11th seed to ever make the Final Four, and they’ll play Butler, last year’s Cinderella, on Saturday for a chance to go to the championship.
When the Shoe Fits