VCU comes into the game as the biggest Cinderella story in the history of the NCAA Tournament since many experts felt they should have not even made it into the field of 68, and some fans have even retaliated with t-shirts against ESPN's Jay Bilas. While, Butler is trying to become the first non-major school to make it to back-to-back trips to the title game since University of Houston's Phi Slama Jamma made the title game in 1983 and 1984.
Butler has two key players that VCU needs to look out for and the are forward Matt Howard and guard Shelvin Mack. Both players were in the title game last year and have become the leaders of this team now that last year's star Gordon Hayward is in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
Howard is a power forward who is capable of scoring down low as well being able to step back and shoot the long-range jumper, including being able to make the occasional three-pointer. So far in this tournament Howard has hit two game winning points, first against Old Dominion in their first game and then again to beat PItt to advance to the Sweet 16..
Shelvin Mack has taken advantaged of Howard's newfound outside shot which has allowed Mack to have a more free flowing game. Mack was able to use the open space all season, and especially against Florida due to the threat of Howard's improved outside shot.
As for VCU they are led by Bradford Burgess and Jamie Skeen who run an exceptional inside-and-outside game. The two average just under 30 points per game as well as 13 rebounds between the two. VCU is a deep team with Brandon Rozzell and Joey Rodriguez who round out the scoring as each average in double figures. Rozzell has been the key to the Rams tournament success as he is shooting about 53 percent from three-point range, and is the teams third scorer.
Butler has the experience by being in this situation last year and is a very smart team, but they do have their own issues in this game. The Bulldogs have had turnover issues with three of their four games where they had more then 10 turnovers and almost blew a 20-point lead against Wisconsin.
VCU has made it through the tournament by playing above their heads during this Final Four run as has Butler, but with the experience Butler has VCU will still need to force their way against Butler and take control of the game early to make it to the championship game.
No. 11 VCU vs. No. 8 Butler, 6:09 p.m. ET, CBS (Nantz/Kellogg/Kerr/Wolfson)