The VCU Rams and the Saint Mary’s Gaels meet Friday in NCAA Tournament First Round college basketball action from Times Union Center. VCU is currently 27-7 on the year. The Rams took out Dayton in Atlantic 10 Tournament activity on Sunday. As for Saint Mary’s, they’re 26-7 this season and coming off a West Coast Tournament loss to Gonzaga. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
VCU managed a 24-7 stretch in their regular-season campaign. The Rams closed the year on a six-game win streak capped with a victory over George Washington on March 4. VCU would then beat Davidson and Saint Louis in the first two rounds of the conference tournament.
Matched up against Dayton on Sunday, the Rams faced a six-point deficit by halftime. VCU hit their stride on a 38-20 second-half run and got the win 68-56. Adrian Baldwin led the way on 16 points and Jalen DeLoach doubled on 13 points with 10 rebounds.
Saint Mary’s Gaels
Over on the Saint Mary’s side, they were 25-6 by season’s end. The Gaels had a four-game win streak going but fell to Gonzaga in their final pre-tournament matchup. Saint Mary’s beat BYU 76-69 in the first game of the West Coast Tournament.
Last Tuesday against Gonzaga, the Gaels were down 37-19 going into the second half. Saint Mary’s was outscored 40-32 the rest of the way and took the blowout loss 77-51. Logan Johnson was tops on the team with 20 points and four rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably take a stab on VCU here. The Rams are hot right now and sitting on a nine-game win streak. VCU has taken out Rhode Island, Fordham, Saint Joseph’s, Richmond, Saint Louis, George Washington, Davidson, Saint Louis and Dayton in succession during that time. As for Saint Mary’s, they couldn’t do much against a tough Gonzaga team in their last game. The Gaels are a sketchy 1-2 in their last trio (with both losses to Gonzaga) but otherwise they’ve been playing well. I think VCU will be able to hang around, however.