NCAA Tournament Predictions: 5. VCU vs. 12. Akron

Forward Juvonte Reddic (USA Today)

Forward Juvonte Reddic (USA Today)

 5 VCU Rams (26-8, 12-4 CAA)- Bracket-busting Virginia Commonwealth is back in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year. The Rams play an intense, frenetic, trapping style that puts pressure on opponents at all times. They broke the NCAA record for turnover margin this season, forcing an amazing 19.9 per game. VCU has also been on fire from deep as of late, knocking down 43 percent of its three-point attempts in four games before the A-10 final against Saint Louis. It was three-point shooting that helped lead the Rams to the Final Four in 2011.

VCU is led by sophomore guard Treveon Graham, who averages 15.4 points per game. 6-9 forward Juvonte Redic is also terrific up front, averaging 14.4 points and 8.3 boards per game. You don’t want to leave Troy Daniels (12.1 ppg) open, either.


1st Forced Turnovers (19.9)

1st Turnover Margin (3.8-1)

11th Points Per Game (78.0)


Center Zeke Marshall (AP)

Center Zeke Marshall (AP)

 12 Akron (26-6, 14-2 MAC)- VCU may be a tough matchup for Akron given that the Zips lost point guard Alex Abreu for the season after he was arrested on marijuana trafficking charges. It’s tough to traverse the Rams’ incredible pressure with a backup point guard. Still, Akron has a chance if it can slow the game down and rely on senior center Zeke Marshall, who averages 13 points per game and is tough to handle in the paint. The Zips were ranked for a few weeks this season before losing two of three and falling out of the poll.

6-7 forward Demetrius Treadwell has an awesome name and is disruptive down low, averaging 11.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Tempo will be the key in their first-round matchup, and if the Zips find a way to get past VCU, the bracket looks a little bit easier for them. 4th-seeded Michigan lost to MAC champion Ohio in the first round last season.


35th  Rebounds Per Game (37.9)

33rd Assists Per Game (15.0)





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