Unbelievable is Believable Here (2014) Movie Script

[reel loading] [slow music] - [Voiceover] As we return
here to the Seagull Center the sight of the last regular
season game for VCU this year. Rams trying to avoid losing
four out of their last five. The Rams, they've got
to get it going here. Rodriguez picks it up. Clocking run,
Joey's gonna drive. Joe picks up the dribble,
gives a left side to Skeen. Off to Rozzell. Two seconds he's
got to shoot it. Off balance Shepard, no
and the Rams fall by three. So a tough one for the Rams
here at the Seagull Center. 72-69 JMU the final
victor this afternoon. - We were in a bad way,
we were in a tough spot because we had just lost
our last two regular season games and we lost on
senior day to James Madison here which was just a crushing
defeat for so many reasons and a few days later
we're in the practice gym. We really in a lot of
ways hadn't recovered from those loses yet
but it's March 1st. - I've been through
several bad seasons in college basketball. My last season with
Jeff Jones at Virginia, we won 12 games. My first year at Carolina as
Associate AD we won eight games but the February here was
one of the worst I've ever been through because of
the fact that our fans have high expectations. We lost two very bad games
at home, three actually. And the last four, five
minutes of the James Madison game I went into my office
and hid and watched it from the office. I had a feeling in
the back of my mind, everybody can say this
but I did have a feeling in the back of my mind. I said this may be the best
thing that's ever happened to us. - [Tim Lawrence] Yeah it
was Tuesday morning when we had practice leading
up to CA Tournament week and coach came up
to me and said, Tim I need you to come in
here, I need you to grab a couple things, I need a
lighter and a big desk calendar. Month of February page. So what coach did
was he came in, had a little trash can in one
hand and in the other hand he had the month of February. On a calendar. Picks it up and he says, "February is over, it's a
new start, it's a new day." Takes out a lighter, sparks it. - And it's burning and I'm
talking as it's burning, I'm talking about putting
this thing behind us and that February is over and
it's burning, it's burning, it's getting closer to my hand. So finally I dropped
in into the trashcan but it was a piece of paper
on fire so it kind of floated around and there was
shreds of it that didn't go into the trashcan, it went
on the floor so had to kind of stomp those out. There was no threat of a
major fire and I think we got the guys attention. - [Jaime Skeen] This is a
great opportunity to play for. We win three straight
games and we're going to championship. That would definitely make
my whole season much better. - [Voiceover] Three of
the screen on its way. They got it. [mumbles] hits a
three to tie it. We're tied at 60. There's 11 seconds to play. Rodriguez towards the left
side, eight seconds to go. Gets a screen out
front from Skeen, Rodriguez to Nixon. Nixon's gonna feed the low
post with three seconds. Skeen with two. Skeen with one, turns
around, shoots of the glass. He got it! He got it! He got it to go! He got it to go, the
Rams win at the buzzer. - We're just like a
culmination of everybody just growing up and just
worried about winning. - [Voiceover] And VCU's
crowd starting to sense it. And they are looking to
have a seven o'clock day tomorrow night to play for
the right to go to the NCAA. - [Mike Ellis] And what
I'm amazed that is the team managed to pull themselves
out of that slump at the most critical
junction of the season and rise above. I didn't expect that. - [Voiceover] There's nobody
in here that gave this team a chance. - [Voiceover] Except
sitting on that beach. - [Voiceover] Except
everybody on that bench. - [Shaka] What
attracted me to VCU was a lot of things. Outstanding fans,
terrific tradition, a
great administrative support, a phenomenal arena
and just the opportunity to continue to build
on a program that was already exploding. - [Norwood] VCU Basketball
has become extremely popular to say the least
in the city of Richmond. We sell out most of our
games, we're always having new people come to games
from the community. I've never seen so many young
kids bring their parents to VCU games. They love the atmosphere,
they love the fun, they love the packed gymnasium,
they love that we win. - [Voiceover] You always wanna
build a program and make it better and better. It's not necessarily a jump
that you take on daily basis but it's something that you
work towards on a daily basis. - The expectations have
been raised significantly since I've been here
in these 23 years. Most notably since Jeff
Kapel started in 2002, 2003. Then through Anthony Grant
then through Shaka Smart. The expectations have
gone up exponentially. - [Mike Rhoades] When coach
Smart got here and I had an opportunity to work for him
and NFVCU was a no brainer. You always want to be at a
job where you have a chance to win your league, maybe every
year or every couple years. VCU's one of those jobs and
then you know when you make the NCAA Tournament
anything can happen. - [Voiceover] Maynor
is this is dagger? You have just seen the biggest
upset in today's first round of the NCAA Tournament. - Well it was a
transition between Anthony and Shaka. You know Anthony as people
say has a big fearful presence on the side lines he won three
regular seasons in a row, two CAA Championships. So Shaka had to transition and
the fans had to transition. The way he was able to
manage a team who had won at the highest level. Keep in mind they won at the
highest level but they won when they were freshmen
and sophomores with a guy who's now having a great
NBA career and Eric Maynor. So it was a lot of growth there
on both sides of the fence. - [Voiceover] VCU. Unless every team that's
already in the tournament wins and there's
virtually no upset, is probably gonna be on
the outside looking in on Selection Sunday
coming up this week. And Outlets and Rodriguez
four seconds to go, Joey's gonna hoist one
and it is short, no good. Old Dominion get the
rebound and the Monarchs are the CAA Champions of
2011 as they drop the banner in the Richmond Colosseum
with a 70 to 65 win over the VCU Rams and
there student body. - [Shaka] I was
upstairs in my office and I was up there
with our five freshman. I made them come watch the
Selection Show with me. I made the decision not
to make our team watch it because I knew it
could go either way. We might get it, we
might not get in. - I wasn't even watching
Selection Sunday at all. I had a buffalo chicken wrap
and everybody was telling me that we ain't have a
chance of getting in and even coach Smart was telling us,
you know don't bank on it. He didn't want us
to get our hopes up. - [Norwood] I was actually
at home on my couch with my laptop, wondering
what would come of the show. And you know I thought
all weekend something
is strange here because all these guys who
have unbelievable record for picking the right
people still have us on. - The whole time I thought
we were gonna get in. I told everybody that
nobody believed me, everybody wanted to not watch
it and I was like I'm watching it 'cause we're gonna get in. - I was in my room,
doing homework. With the door closed 'cause
Joey kept screaming out all kinds of stuff when
the teams kept popping up on the screens. - A lot of us thought we had
a chance, we had a chance but these other
teams have a chance. If they get in before
us we're not getting in and then when you saw
UAB you're like oh man. - [Robby Robinson] UAB
just took our spot. That 18 point lead that
we had has just come back in the worst case scenario
kicked us right in the stomach. - Certainly when UAB
and Clemson were called in the first match
up of the first four that worries you a
little bit because you know there's only one
game left that you probably have an opportunity
to be a part of. - I remember looking
at Shaka and said, I don't think so,
it's not looking good and I went back into my
office and I was ready to dial a phone number and
everybody just went crazy. - I had my phone sitting right
here, my food just all right here, my drink right here. My phone is vibrating off
the hook but I didn't want to answer it because I
had so much buffalo sauce on my hands. - I was eating a cheeseburger, and got the news
that we had made it to the NCAA Tournament. - I didn't even see who we
were playing when our name came across we just
went ballistic. So we were hugging
and running around. - I saw VCU on
there I didn't jump, I didn't even see USC. I just started jumping
up and I left the room and started screaming. - [Brandon Rozzel] He said
we in and once I heard that we ran out here in this
court yard and was just going nuts. - I started to run bu then I
was like hold on let me slow down, I need to save my
energy for the tournament. - I remember just
pointing at the TV going, we're in, we're in and
then the rest was history. - [Voiceover] We could
make a case for any team being into the NCAA Tournament. We can make a case
for any team being out of the NCAA Tournament. I can't make a case for UAB. I can't make a case for VCU. - I spent the next two days
defending their selection. Not just on the radio show
but to about a half a dozen other radio shows around
this region and around the country who
called us to say, what do you think
about VCU getting in. - I've seen UAB play,
I've seen VCU play. I've looked at all
the numbers, not that that matters. All of the teams on that
screen, sort of the snubble at the quote on quote snubblist, should of gotten in
before those two. All of them and there was
a reason why none of us brought up UAB and VCU as
having a chance to get in. Because they had no
chance to get in. - [chuckles] And then they did. - The committee has gone
against their own principles. - The committee looked
for not just quality wins but quality wins away from home. Whether it's a neutral
court or whether its' a true road game and VCU had those. Where as Virginia
Tech and Colorado, two of the schools did not. - [Dick Vitale] My wife
knows diddly about basketball but if you put her here and
said look at Colorado's resume, look at UAB and look at VCU, it'll be an [mumbles] A mismatch man. It would be like
a beauty contest. Roseanne Barr walking
in vs Scarlet Johanson. No sha. - I sort as a coach and great. I don't have to
do the motivating. Coach doesn't have
to do the motivating. The media's doing it
for our guys right now. - I think we can always take
a look back at those comments that were made on
Selection Sunday and we will always have
something to prove. - The Selection, we
had no basketball IQ. This is a joke. And all that stuff on national
TV talking about you guys I mean it's kind
of embarrassing. It makes you feel bad at first. It makes you angry. - These were bad decisions
and you know we talk about the eye test. This one fails the laugh test. - The thing that helped
me the most with that is that I had the first
scout against southern Cal so I was so focused
on them I didn't, you know I didn't really
know what else was going on. I was already watching film
on them while Jay Billis I guess was ripping us. - [Voiceover] Let's go out
here and play theses three guys right from the jump. Question them all from the jump, can't wait till the last
minute of the night. It's all we got, this
moment right here. Kill or be killed, you know. Let's do it. Kill on three, one, two, three. - [All] Kill! I don't know if it was just
the second life type of thing, but I just felt like
we were focused. But yet focused enough
and loose enough that we had a chance. - We were definitely talented
enough and we had size and our style of play
definitely affect BCS teams. But then again you're playing
against BCS at the end of the year and the
NCAA Tournament. You know the odds are more
against you then they are for you but you know we
put ourselves in a position early in the year to
instill some confidence into the NCAA Tournament. That if we do get in,
hey we can play with some of these teams. We could beat some of
these teams and our guys had a great level of confidence. - [Mike Jones] We still
wanted to go after people. we still wanted to be the
aggressor and we knew that some of the teams that we were
playing were not ready for our style of play. And I know that for
me personally the
only game that I was anxious about was the USC
game because I didn't really know a lot about them going in. - [Will Made] They had really
two really, really big guys that if we let get going that
was going to be a big time issue for us. We spend a lot of time
preparing for their bigs, preparing for playing
smash mouth basketball around the rim. - [Voiceover] Inside Skeen. - [Kyle Getter] You know I
remember both teams coming out a little nervous at
the beginning I think there was some nervous energy. - [Mike Rhoades] We didn't
play well in the first half. It was low scoring, it
was sort of their style. The way they wanted to
gain the tempo wise. - [Kyle Getter] And
towards the second half, you know we began to play
our brand of basketball which is havoc and pressing
and getting up and down, speeding up the tempo and
you know I think it became to our advantage. - [Voiceover] With a
bucket, beautifully done. Rob Brandenberg a freshman. - Rob Brandenberg made a
couple nice plays to drive down the lane. Made a great steal and bang
the three right before half that have us great momentum
going in the locker room. As a coach says, the best
way to have momentum going in the second half is you take
in the locker room with you and Rob really
created that for us. - The way we played started
really in the second half of the USC game. Our guys were so locked
in and so together. They were so on the same
page offensively in terms of creating baskets for one
another that we were just so hard to guard and at
the same time we were doing a terrific job on
our defense of men. - [Voiceover]
Slicing and dicing... Objected, great job by Burgess. - [Voiceover] Toward the
court right now for VCU. - [Voiceover] A long
jump shot, it is good. Again Brandon Rozzell, Inside, no.. Reddic and yes! Juvonte Reddic the freshmen. Drives, kicks, it's up and good. Ed Nixon. That's a big time shot. His first basket of the game. The ring is inside. - When we beat USC it was
like the most glorious moment in the world. It ended there we would
still be in the spring going what a great win to
date and we beat USC. It ws incredible wasn't it. We were so happy. - [Voiceover] We have VCU
head coach Shaka Smart. Coach you could you start
with an opening statement then we'll take a few questions. - Really excited about this
match up with Georgetown tomorrow, they have a
storied basketball program with a terrific coach and
very talented players. So it's gonna be a heck
of a challenge for us. Our guys did a
great job yesterday, buying into and executing
our game plan against USC and I think that's
what allowed us to win. We got into Chicago about 3:30
in the morning but our guys were able to get plenty of
rest today and will get more rest tonight. We'll be ready to go tomorrow. - [Voiceover] How long did
you give yourself last night to celebrate the win
before you started thinking of Georgetown and what do you
think you need to take away from Georgetown in order to win? - Well [chuckles] as far as a
celebration it wasn't too much time because you know we
got back in the locker room after the game and we tried
to have a mini celebration as a team after every win
because one of the things we talk about in our program
is don't take any win for granted. I don't care who it's against
or what time of year it is and we want to make sure
our guys understood, hey we just won an
NCAA Tournament game but really from there we
went to talk to the media and it was full steam ahead
to preparing for Georgetown. And we were fortunate
to win last night and again it's another
quick turnaround. But our guys are
basketball players, they're competitors. They would have played
today if the game was today and we'll do what we need
to do from a preparation standpoint, a tactical
standpoint but that's a distant second to having
our minds right. And making sure that
we're in attack mode going in this game
tomorrow night. - We're having a blast, I mean
we're in the NCAA Tournament, had a chance to beat Georgetown, had traditional power, you know
we thought we were prepared. We liked the way our
guys were playing. Our guys were you
know confident, loose. An attacking mindset
which we talked about. - Gosh it was just such
a, it was a great time. I've been to other NCAA
Tournaments when you're, you're not that excited to play
the first game 'cause you're playing a lower level team or
you're worried about losing. And we were just let's go at it. Even fans were like that. - Early in the USC game,
early in the Georgetown game, it wasn't a smooth going game. It was slow, it was methodical. It was almost sometimes
down right ugly. - The game was extremely tense. - But our guys, that was a
great thing about our approach throughout the whole
NCAA Tournament. They had great result. They did a really good job
of when things weren't going on our way not to get
down, not to get upset, not to point fingers. They just kept playing
and when you keep playing and remain focus
at the task at hand then you make a big shot
or you make a big steal that leads to a great play. A teammate gets a great
assist you get an easy basket and then that's where it
sort of snowballs and you get the momentum. - [Voiceover] Here
comes the waves. Numbers. Here's a three. [cheering] And the Rams back in front. Skeen with an inside shot. From three point land. It was Rozzell again
slams the triple. But it's put back by Skeen
and VCU up four points. Rozzel with an inside, nice
flick over the shoulder by Burgess. That was a three pointer
and Ed Nixon has given the Rams a 14 point lead. [mumbles] They are running away
he's off the floor now. 10 for 17 from downtown. VCU is owning this
place tonight. Shaka's fine company are on. They defeat Georgetown 74-56. Interviews and reaction
are coming your way next. - I think that was the
one that really opened everybody's eyes. The USC win they're like, well USC shouldn't have
gotten the tournament either so what's the big deal. Whey the thumped Georgetown
that woke up the entire nation. - [Voiceover] The people are
gonna be stunned by the margin of this game, are you
a little bit surprised? - Not at all. I'm very confident in our team
and when we play our brand of basketball, any
basketball game. I feel like we can compete
with any team in the country as well as create a great
margin on the court. So I mean with all due
respect to Georgetown, we just play VCU basketball
and worked out for the best. Work, yeah that tonight. Worked out for the
best for us tonight. There you go. [chuckles] - [Voiceover] Okay thank you. - Everybody but the team and the coach and
staff was surprised. I guarantee you. Everybody I mean listen
the team wasn't surprised. The coaches wan't surprised
but everybody else, I was surprised. I was eating my ice
cream, I was loving it. I was like wow. I know how difficult it
is as a player getting to the sweet sixteen. I mean that next
level is really tough. It's just really tough. Well when we started the year,
we gave our team a motto. And it was, our time right now. Eric Mayers now in the NBA. Larry Sanders is now in the NBA. This is your tee. This is our time. And right now part of it
is, it's now or never. Because at this point
obviously in the season when you lose you go home. - [Voiceover] Once
again you know there was the endless end that Purdue
was the best defensive team. Best defensive
team in the nation. We really didn't care about
what the enemies was saying, we just went out there
and played our style of basketball. - [Voiceover] Shot
block at 13 seconds. High [mumbles] from Haley. Rodriguez into the
corner for Nixon. This is Jamie Skeen
likes to match up. Shot is good and Rams off
in running in a 2-0 lead. Smith along two. That's big for the team. Skeen muscling his way inside. Burgess for three. And PCU leads 7-2. - [Voiceover] We said they
only had two guys on the court [mumbles] and Ron Johnson
and we wanted the other guys to make plays. [cheering] - [Voiceover] Bonus
time for Purdue. Zero points. - Smith got free from some
jump shots against the press. We play the way we do that,
that's gonna happen sometimes. That's okay. It's collateral damage. Then with Johnson,
he's a great player. Our guys did a good job on him. He got a free a few
times around the basket. I think the thing that helped
us, is we made him work for everything he got. Particularly for the first
35 minutes of the game. And that tired him out. - [Voiceover] [mumbles]
set up for Reddic. Who's got the early hot hand. Wow. [up beat music] Haley stuffs it in. - And the shots kept going in. And we kept turning them
over, and we kept defending and challenging jump
shots on the other end forcing them to play faster, and it was textbook. - [Voiceover] Rozzell for three. And it's all VCU of nine points. Robby set up Jackson
to Terrone Johnson. Sufficating interior
defense, here comes Burgess. Rozzell for three. [cheering] And right VCU looks
like the three seed. Here is goes. Burgess drops off to Skeen. That play is absolutely
destroying [mumbles]. Nixon. They are just teaming off
on the Purdue defense. - [Voiceover] I had felt
in my mind the biggest step for VCU basketball was to
go to the sweet sixteen. I think that term by our
name was a tremendous step forward for us. - We went from five tournament
wins for the program to eight in a
matter of five days. - You almost can't
believe it's happening, and you know taking
place before your eyes. But it was thrilling to watch. - [Voiceover] Again I went
down the floor I was waiting for the team to come off. We hadn't won yet. It was Shaka had put in the
subs and we were gonna win. And it me, and I knew
then, oh my gosh. We've made history and
we've taken a huge leap for this program. - I think that's when it
started to dawn on me that this was becoming the story
of the tournament. The Rams were becoming the
story in college basketball. By the way they had just
throttled a pack ten team, a big leagues team
and then a big ten team. - VCU advancing to the sweet
sixteen for the very first time and coach I gotta say,
three games you played in this tournament so far,
you've made each win look easy. How are you guys gonna keep
this going to the next round? Well these guys are
playing with so much energy and they're playing together
on every single possession. It's easy when
you play that way. We obviously got
great teams coming up, we gotta play even harder. - You know I'm loving
this underdog thing. You know we got a great team
we're playing great basketball right now and hopefully
we keep it going. - [Woman] Keep it going
congratulations Joey. Enjoy you guys. - One of the best things
you can do to advance your campaign as a high
level program is win. Particularly at
this time of year. So you have to maintain
vast majority of your focus should be on winning
and preparing to win. Preparing your guys to
have the right mindset to allow you to win. - [Voiceover] You ever seven
points a game as a freshman? - I think my wife told me
the other day, VCU was one of the top two or three
most googles names over the weekend. So it's great for
our university. It's great for everyone
involved in our program. At the same time we can't
let it overwhelm us or take from our preparation
because we're not done. Anytime that we play a team
from one of the BCS leagues, it's a chance to show that
we belong among you know the top teams in the country. Even though we're not
in one of those leagues. And the tournament here has
been a great opportunity because we've played Pack
Ten, Big East, Big Ten, now we play ACC and it's
like a murderers row. But we've won and
we've won convincingly. So I think what that does is
it shows, first and foremost we've got pretty
good players here. And secondly we've got
a very good basketball program that belongs
in the conversation. The national conversation
about the top teams. One thing that was a
major whit of emphasis from out standpoint was,
we are not going to add any level of anxiety or
pressure onto an already huge pressure packed situation. In fact we're gonna
do everything we
can to relieve that. That's why when we came
out to the open practice, we had fun. You got about five, six guys
on the team that think they're our best shooters. That think they
can shoot with you. But Joey Rodriguez is gonna
shoot with you right now. So we're gonna go best at ten. We're gonna shoot ten threes
and you're gonna shoot ten threes. - I'm on Joeys side. [cheering] - From the strength coach
to the athletic trainer to tall of our players,
to our coaches. Everyone was out there to
stay loose and have fun. We had a job to do but at
the same time we knew that if we didn't go about this
without trying to make it fun, then it wouldn't be fun. And we also knew that this
was a moment that we'd be crazy not to
soak in and enjoy. And I think that's one
thing we did a great job of is to man, everybody
soaked it in. [cheering] - You guys well done, it's been
fun to watch your team play. Good luck to you guys tomorrow. Have fun. - [All] Thanks. - Being loose does not mean
you know being not focused. Being loose means you know
lets go out and if we make a mistake it's not
the end of the world. You know lets have fun,
lets just play our sprain of basketball. Lets just worry about
what we can control. And that's our team
and how well we play. And if things go wrong and
you know we're gonna have to resolve whether it's
getting a bad call or shots aren't going in. You know, we can't control
this sorts of things. I mean our guys were very
locked in on the scan report and I think that you know
everybody was bought into the max throughout
the tournament. And you know that makes it
fun, that's what makes it fun when everybody is
on board like that. - You know I was
concerned about every team because you know I saw
them play some during the year but you know you're
busy with your own world here at VCU and VCU basketball
so you don't see a lot of games. But I knew Florida
State was extremely long and I knew they were
gonna be very good on the defensive end. - I thought we'd have a hard
time scoring against them and I wondered if we could
score enough to beat them. But I was concerned that
we were playing a different level athlete. - By far the most athletic
and longest team we played in two years that
I've been at VCU. - [Voiceover] We know that we're
the best team here tonight. We know it. Deep down in here we know it. Florida State don't know it yet. We gotta go show them. Lets go. Playing Florida State we knew
it was gonna be a battle. We knew it was gonna be a grind. Throughout the season they
had consistently helped teams in the 50's,
in the low 60's. - And they were one of the
best defensive teams in the country we
saw at first hand. - They've got six or seven
big's who could all play just about anywhere in the country. They got guys coming of
their bench who would start at about 80 percent of the
BCS schools in the country. - Why would they be
worried about playing VCU? They play Duke
Carolina on the road. - [Voiceover] Lets do it baby. We all we got it. Right here, right now. For the jump off. Nobody believe it
when I say that. How we get it? How we gonna get it? You know what I mean? Lets get it. - [Voiceover] We welcome you
back to San Antonio, Texas for out continuing coverage
of the 2011 NCAA tournament team two of the southwest
regional semi-final doubleheader. The 11th seed Virginia
Commonwealth making it to the sweet sixteen
for the very first time. Going up against the
10th seed Seminoles of Florida State. The winner advancing
to the elite eight to play the Jayhawks of Kansas. [cheering] [mumbles] - [Voiceover] What a great
sign for Florida State. [mumbles] averaged
about five a game. [cheering] - Well you know we needed
to control the tempo, and I think that, that kind
of fits for just our brand of basketball with havoc. You know we need to control
the tempo as much as possible. [mumbles] - [Voiceover] Great
pass by Rodriguez. And the dunk by Reddic. It's like we can't the
[mumbles] when we don't score. We can't let it affect
our energy defensiveness. - I feel like that Florida
State was the best defensive team that we played all year. - Brad Burgess made like
three or four great moves and couldn't get to the rim. And you know they were going
after every shot and it was it was huge. They would have
guys in front of me. Looking straight like
it's facing me, facing me, and he didn't care about
what was going on out there. He didn't care. As long as I didn't
get the ball. - [Voiceover] Against
this size and speed. With the front line of Florida
State you can't just wobble past towards the hoop. Everything has to be crisp. Florida State by four. - We finally got the street
fight that you expect to have from the very first game that
you play in NCA tournament. You don't expect to be... You might expect to win
but you don't expect to win by 13, 18 and 18. - I think that's the
most vivid game of the tournament for me
because it was a tight game and every bucket was
scrutinized and they were up and then they were down. - But that game I can say
no one's off their head, and everybody was
pushing each other. We were still you know
scoring without them getting me involved. - [Voiceover] Rodriguez
for three yes. Jaime Skeen on a freaking
roll with Joey Rodriguez. [mumbles] And that's their game. Especially tonight. We gotta get long rebounds
and steals and get out and transition because
there's no just openings against Florida State. [cheering] - That was a big stage and
just to come out and even get on the court and just play
to your ability is very hard. - [Voiceover] Florida
State's defense everywhere. Final second of the half. - I mean the things that
we did as individuals that's just confidence from
the coaches and our teammates. - [Voiceover] Got a two. Got a one. [buzzer] Darius Theus, with a beautiful shot for
Virginia Commonwealth. - The first game was
not close, and Kansas had beat Richmond and all
the Kansas fans were rooting which there were what,
20 thousand Kansas fans. They're all rooting for VCU. Why would you not wanna
play the 11th seed? Instead of playing,
you know Florida State. So there was this
energy in the building. And I sat right behind the
VCU bench for that game and it was amazing to
watch Shaka and his staff. I never really had
that perspective. I sit court side but I
never sit behind the bench. So to see the way he operates,
the way the assistants operate to see the way
the team interactes, especially during a
close, critical game. I was mesmerized. - Those moments
through the tournament, I think the growth that he's... You saw him change
through the tournament. The confidence level. You know growing into
his coaching skin. One of the things that gets
lost in this you know they talk about the team. Saw a young coach really
grow and get comfortable on the side lines. - [Voiceover] Rodriguez
splits a defender. Baseball pass to Burgess. Bradford drives the lane. Gets in the air,
feeds it and loses it. Taken away by Florida State. They're on the run. Now this is spare. Spare inside [mumbles]. Kicks left side. Dulkys, he shoots the three. It's good. Deividas Dulkys hits the
tray, the five point lead is gone, it's now a two
point lead for the Seminoles. They come bursting out
of the locker room, they lead 38-36. - You know in those other
games we got comfortable and you were to kind of
relax a little but and say, hey not only can we
play with these guys but we're beating them. And I think even though Florida
State became a tight game, there was never a question
that I thought Florida State was gonna run away
with the game. - One thing that never
really you know, [mumbles] us was our confidence. You know and that's everybody. That all goes to the
seniors again you know, they're a very confident
group in what they do so. - [Voiceover] Now Rodriguez
with the right hand triple. Joey all the way
inside, off the glass. Shot does not go! - Even with things like
you know the [mumbles] they never stop fighting
you know and they always believe in each other. So, I would say something
like that you know. Their heart, the
determination that's something I'm gonna take with me
for the rest of my career. - [Voiceover] Kicks it,
it just fell off the rim. And then Rodriguez
comes from behind and strips it away. Joey to Burgess,
squares for three. Yes sir! Bradford Burgess! He hits another
three, his fourth. That's another
three on it's way. He got another! Rozzell hits the three. He's hit three in
the second half. Rozzell gets the [mumbles]
splits a double he drives inside scoop shot. Good! And one! Rozzell got the scooper to go! He got the bucket to fall. VCU we'll go to the timeout
with the one point lead. 50-49. Hang on to your hats everybody
VCU with Florida State at a good one here for the
right to go to the elite eight. We'll take a time out. We'll be back in two minutes. - [Voiceover] This is RAM radio. - I'ma tell you, they
did something defensively with six or five minutes left
and they shut the hose off. - [Voiceover] Now Brandenberg
his pass deflected towards out of bounds. Saved and it's on the floor. Burgess has gotta... drives the leg. His shot blocked. As Snaer comes off. - They're length on the
basketball court is just you know words can't describe
until you're out there with them. - [Voiceover] Rozzell to Skeen. Skeen's gonna take an off
balance double clutch, jumper no good. Air ball. - They defend so well,
the play together, they're blocking shots. They're out there scrambling,
playing team defense. And that's what
they're known for. That's what Florida
State is known for, is for their tough defense. And it showed out there. - They made it hard
for us to score. But our guys again they kept
battling, and kept battling and that was really the
only time we've been tested up to that point. - [Voiceover] Picks up the
dribble he's in trouble. Rodriguez in all
kinds of trouble. Gives it to Skeen with two. He's gotta force
it up it's blocked. [mumbles] violation. And the Rams leading
by three 65-62. Didn't get the look they wanted. We're one second under
two minutes to go here. And VCU again will have to
defend in the half court. - You know when you're
broadcasting the game you're always trying to look
ahead, what's gonna happen here so I can be
prepared for it. You never wanna be ill prepared
for what's gonna happen because that'll come
across on the air. So I'm thinking, how
is this gonna play out and it was difficult to imagine
it because we had played so well but then again, all
of a sudden gosh if they hit a couple shots, we're gonna
be in some real stew here. We're getting every rebound,
we're not gonna get rebounds. It's difficult to get rebounds. Now we can't even penetrate. Now we can't even
get an open three. How in the world are we
gonna skate this game? - Number one, I
hare close games. The Florida State's a
tight game the whole way, and when Singleton hits that
deep three pointer late, that's like yeah
well, it's been fun. - [Voiceover] It's time. Singleton hits the
three with 45 seconds. What a three by Chris Singleton. And VCU and Florida State tied
at 65 with 40 seconds to go. - Joey Rodriguez has a
calming influence when people late. You know, he doesn't get
rattled and he's over there, we're fine, we're gonna make it. - [Voiceover] VCU against
the best defensive team in the country. He's got 11 seconds,
here's Burgess. - One of the last seconds of
regulation we wanted to give Bradford a look and
obviously we gotta look and Florida State
blocked it at the rim. - [Voiceover]
Inside they blocked. Florida State's gonna have a
chance for the last possession. Ten seconds now down to nine. This is it for the
Rams, they've gotta-- - I thought our guys,
especially that last one, they really locked in on
that last play and said, if you're gonna make a
shot you're gonna make a tough one over me. - [Voiceover] Got it. Get's a screen out front. Three [mumbles] with two. With one. [mumbles] doesn't know. Did he get it off? No, we're going to over time. We are going to over time. The Rams defend in the
half court perfectly and Kitchens didn't
have anything to do. And VCU will go to overtime
to get to the elite eight. - The overtime was
just excruciating. - [Voiceover] Goes to the rim. [cheering] That counts. [mumbles] - We had not had
anything offensive happen for eight minutes. Then Bradford
Burgess hit a three. A big one. - [Voiceover] This is Burgess. There it is. [cheering] - Different guys took the
lead at different times and we certainly needed it. Those runs are made out
of moments like that, when the guys lift their game. - [Voiceover]
Kitchen gets inside. That's too easy. Snaer. Steal by Rodriguez. [whistle] And a foul. And obviously every
point critical here. VCU [mumbles]. - Man you got that feeling
in overtime thinking, this is gonna be tough
to chew on all off season if we can't win this game. We left so many
points at the line. - We played tough as nails. - But they came back on
us, they battled back. They hit some huge
shots at the end. - All game long we
played perfect defense and we had one small... I mean he made a great ACC
player he made a great play. - [Voiceover] Right side
it gets to Singleton. Singleton drives the
lane he's got a seam and an easy layup. With 29 seconds to go. Rodriguez and the Rams
are down one 71-70. Rams have one timeout
remaining and 23 seconds to play, and Mike this is it. Rodriguez angles to his left. Rams gotta get some
kind of field goal. Burgess to Theus. Theus stripped got it back. 12 seconds to play. Theus to Rodriguez
inside drive and scoops shot blocked out of
bounds with seven seconds and now. If your coach Smart
you call your time out, they do. - And now we found ourselves
in a situation where at the end of overtime
we needed to score. Ball was out of bounds,
underneath our basket. - Now I was concerned
we weren't gonna be able to get off a good shot
because they were so long and athletic. And they had a condensed
amount of time to really defend us hard. - I missed a lot of free throws
in the end of that game too. And Skeen missed a
lot of free throws and [mumbles]. You know I'm in the
huddle, that last time and I'm ready to cry almost
'cause I think it could be over and I'm thinking about
this moment like-- - [Voiceover] VCU's gotta
end bound it, they do so with Joey Rodriguez. And then Florida State
calls the timeout. - They called timeout
after we had set up a play so we had to come back
into a second timeout and organize a new play. - I honestly think
those guys on the bench, there was a level of comfort. And the way that story
the timeout unfolded with coach Smart telling Joey
look 'em off, look 'em off, and them come back to him
'cause he's gonna be there. - At first they were supposed
to run one play it was called 12, and 11's
the same setup as 12, just a different play
and he changed it in the second timeout. - They look at the alignment,
they call it timeout. We come back in, we change
the play, we go back out. - [Voiceover] This team trying
to find a way to get this game to Sunday for the Rams, Rodriguez will
[mumbles] baseline left. Rodriguez looking,
Rodriguez has gotta get it. - It had to be the longest
five seconds of my life. Man I'm sitting there, come
on Joey you gotta get it in. Come on Joey you
gotta get it in. - I was concerned that he was
about to blow the whistle. I think on the radio you can
hear me saying get it in, get it in, get it in. - And I see [mumbles] to the
screen and I see where there is a way that he
could get the ball. But I'm not sure
if Joey sees it. - It's taking forever, and
I say he's gotta get it in. Rodriguez gets it
inside to Burgess! Lays it up and in with
seven seconds to go. [cheering] Score! Seven seconds to play. - We got the [mumbles]
of all time man. Brad went up and it's
like slow motion. It went in and had to
hurry back on defense. - It just happened so slow. Like the longest five
seconds of my life. - Joey, he had the
ball for a long time. Is he gonna pass it 'cause
I was the release man. You know Brad, he made a
great basketball IQ play. You know he saw that
they were switchy and he slipped the screen,
Joey made a pinpoint pass and then like you know
the rest is history. - Honestly I thought Brad
was gonna miss that layup 'cause it looked like he
was confused on if he wanted to dunk it or lay it in. - 'Cause I couldn't decide
if I wanted to dunk it or lay it in but I'm
just glad it went in. - And I look up at the
clock and I thought, way more time should
have went off than that. - There was a lot of
time on the clock. There was still seven or
eight seconds I think. - [Voiceover] The defensive's
now gotta go for the Rams. Singleton to Kitchen. Kitchen with five,
Kitchen with four. Kitchen right side with three. Drives, passes
that to Singleton. Jumper blocked! Blocked! Blocked! Blocked! The Rams win it! They're going to the [mumbles]. Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! - Everyone was just
kind of freelancing. I mean everyone lost
their mind for a minute, me included. - I actually thought about
jumping on the score table. But, I kinda like
touched the score table and it wasn't really
sturdy enough. - I grabbed the ball actually, and I threw it all the
way down court and it hit a cameraman and I
tried to act like I didn't know what happened. - I look over my shoulder
at the crowd behind me and it's pandemonium. - And i looked over at our
crowd and out crowd was just going wild and I just
ran to the floor. - I mean I jumped up, I ran
after Rob and then some people ran after Brad. Some people ran after Joey. Rob was like just
running around the gym. I mean we were just too
excited so I mean it was a really fun time. - That was the best moment
of the tournament to me. - You're a competitive
basketball player,
athlete you dream of that finish and that's
what was exciting more than anything for me. Our guys are experienced
in what they probably dreamed out for a
long, long time. It was the same for the coaches. It was awesome. - We've beaten the
Pack Ten, the Big East, the Big Ten, and the ACC. Now, we get to play the
only number one seat left, in the whole tournament. From the Big 12. Guys are we done? - [All] No. - Alright, alright. Well lets enjoy
this one tonight. Then we're gonna quick
turnaround and we're gonna win on Sunday. I'm telling you. We follow the plan we
buying, we winning the game. Great job guys. Great job. Everybody bring it in. [applauding] [singing] - [Crowd] V! C! U! Lets go VCU! [cheering] - You're thinking, okay
this is just basketball. We're gonna to do the
same thing we always do. But, our fans totally
change it for you. This isn't about you anymore. You know, I mean
it is but it isn't. You've grown. Lets say it that way. - When you go to Kansas of
Kentucky or Carolina Duke. You don't plan for one
weekend you plan for three. And when you're a
mid major like VCU, I think you enjoy the moment. - So what you're about to
witness is the VCU band, the Peppas about to go
down the river walk, and we're about to play
a bit of our music so. Hopefully the environment
takes care of us and we take care of them. Not too loud not too ruckus. We're about to have a
good time check it out. [trumpet music] - Easily one of the best
images from San Antonio has to be, the site of the
Peppas, the VCU pep band on a canal boat floating
down the canal wall. And to see the reaction,
not just from the VCU fans, but from Kansas fans. The Florida State fans. The natives of San Antonio
to see the VCU pep band coming down the canal in
a boat just working it. Just absolutely
blowing everybody up. It was fantastic. That absolutely to me, that's
like one of the best images to see that pep band which
was such a great symbol of the spirit of the Ram
nation to see those guys and to see everybody
kind of embracing them, applauding for them. That was really, really cool. [cheering] - [Shaka] The opportunity
in front of us today is this, 40 minutes, it's
about 70 possessions out of offense. 70 possessions on defense. Lets make every single
one of them count. Today, we go after
them, we run on them, and we lock them up. And today we're punching our
ticket to the Final Four. Lets go! - You know I just kind of
remember back to the Morris twins saying that Brandon
and Joey you know before the game, the captains
mean that hey you guys have had a nice run
but it's about to end. Well, again our guys get
highly motivated by things like that and they think
they can play with anybody. And they've proven
that they can, So why should they
think any different. - It's Kansas, they're really
good, they've been number one in the country most of the year. I think they only lost
one game prior to that. Our guys, they didn't waiver
them like man I don't know about this. But their approach the whole
time, they were lasered in and locked in like they
thought and expected that they were gonna win the game. [mumbles] - What concerned me is
Kansas they were attacking us inside. And I was really bothered
and I was really thinking we were just gonna get
hammered, and just out sized and out physical and there's
not much we can do about that. - [Voiceover] You see the
strategy right off the bat. Kansas trying to
[mumbles] VCU inside. - Of course they got
off to an early lead. [cheering] - [Voiceover] This time
Marcus Morris scores against that press. - But I'll be doggone we
didn't come back and just punch them right in the teeth. And here we go. [mumbles] - [Voiceover] Look at Shaka
Smart he's like six on five. He's another defender out there. Where is VCU
finding this energy? - And if you tell me
that, believe in that
or have any doubt that you're not gonna win. I mean it affects things. And I think all of us, everybody
believes that we should beat Kansas and we should
beat everybody else we played in the tournament. [cheering] - [Voiceover] Rozzell. Hits the three,
making a 17 for one. For VCU. - It's so fitting really,
that Brandon would explode and make such big
shots throughout our
NCA tournament run. Because that's when
we were at our best. Is when Brandon Rozzell was
out there playing his game and attacking the basket
and making three's. You know I think the emotional
energy that he provided for our team when he played
that way is off the charts. - [Voiceover] Three
pointer for Skeen. Jaime Skeen showing
the entire repertoire. There's Rodriguez for three. - Three's just start falling. Three's, more
three's, more three's. And you're up 20 and you're
looking at the scoreboard and you're like
is this happening? After what happened with
Florida State, overtime. You're gonna run Kansas
out of the building. - [Voiceover] Three. The Rams racing down court. - [Voiceover] The toughest
games in the tournament if you get all the
way to the Final Four, the first one and
then the elite eight. It's Rozzell, makes
another one from downtown. - [Voiceover] And a stunning
first half here in San Antonio. In a rare scenario, Kansas,
trailing at the half. 41-27, and we go to
Craig with Shaka. - Well we saw you before
the game tell your team to get after them
and lock them up. How good have they
been in the first half by following directions? - I think really good. The first two possessions
we let them lob over the top and score on us inside. But other than that, defensively
we've been very good. We got a rebound much
better in the second half if we wanna win this game. - You fell behind six
to nothing, Kansas
had the momentum, you didn't call time out. You're that confident
in your team? - Yeah our guys have a lot
of poise and we don't need to call timeout to come back. We're a resilient group, we're
gonna need that resilience in the second half 'cause Kansas
will certainly make a run. - I'm not gonna lie you
know I was a little nervous. We knew they were gonna
make a run you know. Coach told us that. And he told us you know
you're still a great team. They got one run in
them, a big run in so. We just gotta weather
the storm and be silent. - Well coach [mumbles]
what does your team have to do to turn it
around on the second half? - Well we gotta guard and we
gotta get back in transition. You know they shot the lights
out but we didn't guard them obviously didn't
defend very well. They had us on our
heels the whole half. We gotta get back to playing
inside out and getting the ball between us and
have another delivery. - [Voiceover] Defense will
give 'em a few minutes. [mumbles] from Markieff Morris. Kansas contingent hoping that
is the start of a virtue. - You knew Kansas was
gonna make another run. - [Voiceover] And this is
what Bill Self talked about. Play inside out, and they're
putting a lot of pressure on this VCU team. Here comes the Jayhawks. Off the double. Nixon. Lost it. Ahead of the field. [cheering] The lead is down to seven. - [Voiceover] A
7-0 run by Kansas, and now a technical foul
on coach Shaka Smart who did not like the
call against Ed Nixon. That is the first technical
foul by coach Smart all season long. - You know when you get
in the NCA tournament you have the best of the
best of the officials and that Kansas game, we
had a phenomenal crew. They're guys that... They're all stars in
terms of officials. They are guys we would love
to see a lot more often. But just felt like at that
point the game was kind of slipping away. I didn't think our team
was paying enough attention to detail. I thought we were letting
Kansas be the agressor. You know it did feel like
there was a couple calls that maybe should have
gone the other way. So I lost it a little bit
coming out of a timeout, and I said nothing. But they said that I walked
out at too quick of a pace. It actually worked out well
because it served as a turning point for our team and for
me personally because I knew at that point, hey I'm not
getting another technical, I'm not saying anything 'cause
I wanna finish this game up. - You know coach
Smart got the tech. So he was out there arguing
with the refs and it was just the team in the huddle. And I just kinda pulled
everybody together. I was just like everybody relax. I was like everybody
we playing on our heels and we need to just
come back and attack like we been doing
all tournament. - Never seen Joey like that. He was just... He took guys you know,
jersey collars like alright, you know lets regroup. This is the same game,
this is basketball. You know same court, this
is just Kansas you now. Don't look at the name on
the front of his jersey. And I think after that we
all calmed down and got to back to playing
our basketball. - It's not easy to get guys
to speak up in uncomfortable situations. It's something that takes time
to learn how to do it takes a level of confidence, it
takes some training but they slowly but surely got it. And by the time we got to March
they really, really got it. - [Voiceover] To Reed, Reed
gets it inside to Taylor. Six to shoot, Taylor's
got a wide open dunk but he instead lays
it in and scores it. Kansas has been amazing
in the second half. - We knew they was
gonna come out you know and making runs. We knew it coming. We just didn't know if
we was gonna be able to withstand that. - [Voiceover] Taylor on
the run, Rodriguez fire. Did not wanna pick up the foul. Might get the goal
to, yes it counts. It's on Rodriguez, correct? That's 3,000 about
a minutes time. - [Voiceover] I was a little
concerned at that point. How coach and his staff
and the players reeled the emotions in. I thought was brilliant. I don't that there's
a strategy for that but they had the resolve
which is something you hear coach say all the time. They had the resolve
to not roll over. And everybody in that
building thought they were about to roll over. - [Voiceover] Three
point play for Taylor, the lead is down to two. By virtue of a 17 to 3. Kansas one. - [Voiceover] Outside pressure. Foul is called of that
jump shot by Skeen and it's on Marcus
Morris, that's his third. Three shots for Jaime Skeen. - [Shaka] It's just a
wonderful thing to see Jaime and not just play so well
but the belief that he had in himself and that his
teammates had in him is a wonderful thing. And you just don't see
that on a lot of team. And it became very clear
early in the month of March we're gonna give that guy
the ball as much as we possibly could. And every time we did, seemed
like something good happened. - [Voiceover] Morris
drives the lane, he looses the handle. It's on the floor,
picked up by Skeen. Turnover Kansas. Now Theus on the run. Theus still driving, Theus
always up to the finger roll, Good, Theus gets the
finger roll to go inside. Rams now leading 50 to 44. Six point lead for VCU. Theus top of the four
reverses to Skeen. Open three, Jaime
Skeen he got it. Bulls eye! Joey reverses it to Burgess. Take the three. Burgess spins inside. Burgess inside to Skeen. Skeen dunks it in as Jaime
Skeen gets a wonderful look from Bradford. - [Voiceover] An 11th seed Virginia Commomwealth trying
to knock off number one Kansas. 14 turnovers by the Jayhawks. Rodriguez from way
downtown and way off. - Joey's the type that
you knock him down once, he's gonna come back
and he's gonna come back harder then he came back before. - [Voiceover]
Gives it to Taylor. Taylor's gonna drive the lane. Double clutch layup,
good he got [mumbles]. With 5:09 to go
the lead is five. 57, 52. Another run run by
the Kansas Jayhawks. - As a player you want to
go out and play your game. You want to go out and
have the freedom to shoot the ball when you're open. To make plays when you can
and wanna have teammates that are gonna create shots
for you and I think we really had the best of
both worlds here. In that situation because
very rarely do I tell a guy not to shoot. - Coach believes in and
I'm just a confident guy and you know they did the
same thing on the ball screen so I just pulled up and shot it. I think there was like 25
on the shot clock shoot. So I'm sure people in the
stands were like no, no, no. - [Voiceover] Now top of the
key, he squares and shoots the three, bulls eye! Rodriguez trains the tray. Joey a big three to
make it 60 to 52. An eight point
lead for the Rams. - The stat that I always
remember is Kansas led for the first two minutes
and 32 seconds of that game and that's it. They never regained the lead. They got it to two but they
never regained the lead. - [Voiceover] You can
almost feel America in the Rams corner. Rodriguez inside, kicks
up top to Burgess. Four, three, yes! [cheering] He hit it. 63, 54. Three. Two. One. And he scores. Once again it's the
combination of Rodriguez and Burgess who combine
for the winning basket Friday night against
Florida State. Kansas switched on that play. - I think to me one of the
greatest moments of that whole run was when that game ended. And I did, I was emotional
and watching Shaka and knowing how much
had been invested. It hits you, the raw emotion
of that moment was something I'll never forget. I mean there was a sense of
joy, a sense of accomplishment. A sense of wow and a
sense of wonderment with what had just gone
one and to know that we had just witnessed greatness
it was pretty special. - [Voiceover] Here comes
Kansas into the front court. Morning start for three
with seven seconds. It is no good. Five seconds left. This is Reed in the
corner with three, with two, with one. It's over. [mumbles] Shaka, Jayhawk. The Rams are going
to the Final Four. They beat the Kansas Jayhawks. 71, 61. And deep in the heart of
Texas we will be staying. - [Shaka] The great
thing about sports is, the families are such
a huge part of it that it's their team too. And there's an investment
level that is so very high and it's really a special
thing that you don't see in other walks of life. - The neat thing about our guys, when we got in they were very
thankful for the opportunity. They knew they got
in and it was close and you know coach always
talks about appreciation ratio against entitlement. Our guys were very appreciative of being in the tournament
and in that situation and they just took
full advantage of it. They really did. - You said all those
that believed in you, a lot of people didn't believe
but maybe they are now. - Well those people
don't matter, the only people that matter
is the 14 guys on our team. And they never stopped
believing Craig. - Alright well thanks a lot. They go from the first
four in to the Final Four. - The whole thing
with the doubters, I remember talking
to Shaka about this. I said I think our guys are
starting to feel like they don't belong because of what
all the people are saying. And Shaka didn't agree with
that but I could sort of sense it with the team so once
we actually accomplished all that I just
felt great for them. I felt great that they
were able to just shut all those folks up and just hey
you know we were presented with a challenge and not
only did we exceed you know everyone's expectations we did
something that is historical. [chatter] [applause] [cheering] - [Voiceover] Gives
us some credit. - [Voiceover] Think
if I tell Shaka, I will be extremely shocked. - I will be extremely shocked. I will be extremely shocked
if VCU beats Kansas. - [Voiceover] They were amazing. - They were amazing baby. They were amazing. - [Voiceover]
Kansas shot so bad. - [Norwood] You know
you're in San Antonio. You're in a bubble to a degree. You're not at the Seagull
Center, you're not in Richmond. You're out in middle of Texas, there's a lot of our fans
are there but you don't know, it was almost like
when we beat Duke. You don' know the impact
because you're on opposing floor to a degree or a foreign
floor and you're just not in Richmond. We heard before we were
getting on the plane in San Antonio I man
right when we were getting on the plane, Tim
Latney was in contact with the police and
they had set up a they said a command center
in the Seagull Center. I thought what's
going on back there. So in the entire time we
were getting some messages on the plane that the Seagull
Center had a couple thousand people there and that's
gonna be really great. [slow music] We get here and I was the
first one really off the bus and I came down the
steps and I walked out and they said it's packed. And I walk out and I said,
you've got to be kidding me. - [Voiceover] What's going
on guys, welcome back. [cheering] - You just think about all the
people that have been apart of VCU for decades. How much it means to
them, young and old. That's who I kept
thinking about. I couldn't help but be happy
for like the hardcore fans. The fans who come
time and time again. That's who I was happy for. [cheering] - You know when we set
out in this journey, our goal, I'll be honest with
you, our goal was to make the sweet sixteen. [cheering] It had never been
done before at VCU. And these guys did it. [applause] And that will not be lost. We went down in San
Antonio, we said, why not go to the Final Four. [cheering] Now we're going to the
Final Four and we're saying, why not bring the whole thing. [cheering] - We want Butler. We want Butler. We want Butler. We want Butler. - [Voiceover] When
we beat Kansas, things changed. We filled up three charter
airplanes in basically 36 hours. And that was to me a signal
that we were on to something. I've heard people
who've lived in Richmond 30, 40 years say they've never
seen the city come together. They've never seen so many
people out cheering on VCU. They've never seen so many
people openly show their support for a team in this area
then they did for VCU in the NCAA Tournament. - We just needed
something to cheer for, somebody to cheer for. I think that's what happened. I think people just naturally
combusted because of what was going on. - I've been here since '98,
there was a level of energy I've never seen in Richmond. Not the Richmond sports
community in Richmond period. - I think the neat thing was
that our guys whether it was the coaches or the
student athletes, they did a great job
of maintaining you
know some humbleness and not allowing themselves
to get caught up in it and think that
they're rock stars. - [Voiceover] You know when
we have really good guys on our team so even prior
to the NCAA Tournament, a lot of people liked our
guys 'cause they're fun guys to be around. It just made it more
enjoyable for the fans and the students at VCU was
because they go to class with Brandon Rozzell and
they know he's a great kid and now they happen
to cheer for him now on a national stage. Same thing with a
lot of our players, I think a lot of people
really enjoyed that. - Jaime Skeen. VCU. And welcome to the 2011 NCAA [chuckles] - Talking to local, regional
and national media members that's what they
found so refreshing. They were just being themselves. - Whether it's Joey
beating Steve Kerr in a three point contest or
that whole iron man drill that had literally the entire
Final Four community talking. Shaka and his coaches
taking charges and diving for balls. I mean but that's who they are. That's who the Rams are. [cheering] - [Dwight Jones] When I
walked into the stadium it was so, so big. And so many people. - [Mike Rhoades] You know
when you're an assistant coach you're sort of one
of the foot soldiers so you're doing, you're not
doing the media stuff. You're going on the next thing. What's the next scout,
what's the next tape. Are we organized with and that, are our guys ready to play the
game with all the craziness going around them. But I will say when I walked
out for the Butler game for layups with the guys
and I was standing there, seeing all these people and
seeing the court raised up. That was awesome and I
think why it hit me so hard is that when I turned around
to look at the VCU section I saw my mom and my wife
and my kids in a couple rows behind our bench and it
hit me like we're here. We're in the Final Four. - [Voiceover] Good evening
ladies and gentlemen. Hello friends and
welcome to Houston. And welcome to the
2011 NCAA Final Four. - Talking to some of my
friends in the business they were like, you
realized that only like one or two percent of people in
the game, coaches, players, really get the opportunity
to go to the Final Four is just such a unique thing
and I never thought about it. - [Voiceover] Out of
the southwest region, they are only the third
number 11 seed to reach the Final Four. Please welcome the VCU Rams. - It hit me when I saw our
players run onto the floor and the come up those
steps you know 'cause it's an elevated floor. It's almost like being on stage. And I thought oh my goodness,
guys come on don't be nervous. I was nervous for them
because they looked nervous. And you know you know
those guys as people and you see 'em run out on
the floor and I'm thinking, oh my goodness. - I walk into the arena,
stepping up to the steps, getting ready to warm up. I kinda hit you then and
everyone cheers for both sides. You got Butler over
here, you got Yukon, you got Kentucky then
you got our section. It's just so much going
on then you look up, you got the big screen and
the camera over your head. It's insane. - You just kind
like look around, you're like are you serious. Like we're really
in the Final Four. - [Shaka] When you get
out there for a game now it's battle. And it's just like any
other game whether it's here in the Seagull Center or
on the road to the CAA. But now you're on national
TV in front of millions of people, you're in a
football stadium in front of 76,000 people and you
just wanna go out there and do what you do as
a player or as a coach. - [Voiceover] National
semi-final is underway and VCU controls the tip. And that's where they'll
be going, right to left. - It's a heck of a feeling
you know to be on that kind of stage in front of those
kinds of fans and you wanna play your best but you gotta
stick to your game plan. - [Voiceover] Back
to passing Smith, whips it to Mack. He shoots a three right
in front of us, it's good. A three ball for Shelvin Mack. He's 79th of the year and the
Rams down three, zip early on. - The pressure never got to
them and I think that's a credit to coach Smart and his staff. I think they made it fun and
they made it out that we have nothing to lose. - [Voiceover] Down low Mack. Great passing by the Bulldogs. - [Voiceover] And they were
so loose and so confident and when those first
couple jumpers went down and I thought you know
what, we're gonna be in the national championship. - [Voiceover] Transition
defense at the other end. As you look at Burgess who's
been terrific all tournament. - [Voiceover] Reverses
it back to Skeen. He takes a three point shot. Bulleye! Jaime Skeen [mumbles] The Rams are up by one. - [Voiceover] Let's
fall into it so far. Another shot from the corner
and it's another three, three in a row this time. - When I saw those shots
go in I just knew we was gonna take off. I just felt like it was
gonna be a [mumbles] game and we was gonna keep
rolling and keep rolling and play for the
national championship. - [Voiceover] Got an
advantage, Skeen turns around shoots off the glass. It goes, Jaime Skeen. - I thought Butler
would take stuff away. They took some stuff away
but they couldn't take it all away. We had so many guys clicking. - [Voiceover] Again in
the corner, it's open. It's Burgess. Man is he high above highland, he's got nine. He's at three. - It's a great basketball game. I think both teams,
it was a game of runs. They had individual runs. - [Voiceover] Someone
to take [mumbles] Looking at Marshall
work that glass. - [Voiceover] Smith almost
lands on his teammate then puts it up
with a left hand. - First half they probably
had a good eight to 10 points just on missed blockouts or
them getting a 50,50 balls. So it was a lot of
mental mistakes. - [Voiceover] The tree
point shooting allowed VCU to jump out to a quick lead
but then Butler has maintained contact by virtue of
it's work on the offense. - Every game you hit a slump. Even in our best games we
had a slump so I mean we expected it, we knew it was
coming but didn't know it was gonna last as long as it did
and it be so hard to watch and take part in. - We didn't make shots like we
did throughout the Tournament we missed a lot of open
shots, a lot of short shots. But Butler did a great job
with their defense or game plan of taking away some of our
things and taking away some of our better plays
and our better ideas. - [Voiceover] That's Mack
and back on the board, he had five quick
ones at the start. - They're making tougher
shots than we're missing. - [Voiceover] Mack takes
the three and nails it. - [Voiceover] It
wasn't a pretty game. It wasn't a pretty
game, it was a lot of, it was like a bar fight
as Kevin Garnet would say. [chuckles] A bar fight but it
was a tough game. It wasn't pretty, it was
you know make it happen any way you can. - [Voiceover] Howard,
well he backed off leaving Rodriguez open. Off the floor it's
Nixon pinned underneath. Oh how did he squeeze
that one through. Drive it in, dishing it out. Stagul from the Corner. Got the steal, can't
make the three. Power tips it over where
we can retrieve it. - [Voiceover] Butler finished
the first half on a 19 to 8 run and they lead it at the
break by a score of 34 to 28. - You're gonna drive
them under the rim. We're behind 'em
sometimes and they're just driving us out. We gotta push 'em under the
rim like we do in practicing, we gotta shove 'em
underneath the rim. - Instead of trying
to back 'em out. - Yeah instead of trying
to back 'em out just shove 'em underneath. Take the angle. Yeah. - [Voiceover] I don't think
it's so much open looks, we gotta rebound the
ball better and we gotta do a better job running
our stuff crisply. Open looks will take care
of it's self if we do that. - [Voiceover] Reddic
on the inside. And this is a good
start for the Rams. The first five of the half. - [Voiceover] An
excellent start Jim. VCU coming with great energy
to start the second half. Reddic hits the shot and
VCU takes the lead by one. First seven of the half, lead by Marshall and
Burgess first foul. And back outside,
Skeen with a three. Yes. - [Voiceover] Joey
Rodriguez that's all him. Penetration attacking. Again you wanna try to
tag three point shooters if you're Butler and
make Rodriguez finish. He's got it. The sharp shooter. Going for two in a
row, he's got it. Zach Hahn, another
league change. - We continued to manufacture
great opportunities and they would roll
around and fall off. - [Voiceover] Tapped
out and it looks out. - And yet we still
continue to battle. - [Voiceover] Rodriguez
bounces it in, Rozzell puts it
up for the league. Back to the Rams. - [Voiceover] You know
a lot of times you, in a game of that magnitude
you see teams fall apart. - [Voiceover] Mack has bee
quiet this half so far. - [Voiceover] Hahn drives
in, goes the other side. He's got eight points
in the last minute. - [Voiceover] On
several occasions you
know they'd go down to stick a tough one
in and we'd come down and have a layup roll off. - [Voiceover] Inside
it was an open lane and somehow it stood up
there for a long time. - [Voiceover] Boy there's
been a couple like that Jeff form VCU this half. [mumbles] - [Voiceover] Mack he's
on the broad with a three. - [Voiceover] You know Shelvin
Mack made a couple shots that you couldn't
defend any better. Brandon Rozzell did a
wonderful job on him. Ed did a great job on him
but when a guy rises up and makes a shot,
sometimes the guy just made a great play. - [Voiceover] Gotta
tag him though. Mack way outside, he
bands it home again. Stolen away by the Bulldog's. - [Voiceover] And he'll pull
up here if they don't tag him. - [Voiceover] He's gonna
take it to the hole. Puts it off the
glass for two more. It's Mack time. - [Voiceover] You put the ball
in your best players hands and go to work and he did that
and that's why he's a very good player and you
know we went to Jaime. He was our best player and
he made some great plays too to keep us right there
in striking distance. - [Voiceover] Probably look
to go through Jaime Skeen or Bradford Burgess. - [Voiceover] It's
their biggest deficit of the entire tournament. Not made a basket
for three and a half. Skeen owns that streak. - [Voiceover] Well done. - [Voiceover] Mack fade away. Rattles home again. - [Voiceover] With
Theus all over. - [Voiceover] Rodriguez. Sends it home for three. - You know Rodriguez
hits a three, Darius Theus had a big layup. - They always had an answer. In the second half even
late in the second half we had our chances and
the shots we were making throughout the tournament
we didn't make consistently against Butler. - I remember I had a three
in transition that was in and out. I just smiled 'cause I was
just like well [chuckles]. - It's definitely frustrating
you know especially in the first half you think,
okay it's happen to us in the first half so we're
gonna have to regroup and come out in second half
the same thing happens. You know shots go half way down, half you know come back out. - [Voiceover] And then
Vanzan stuck one in. I mean it's like Michael
Jordan shooting the ball. Are you kidding if this
goes in and it went in. - [Voiceover] Yes. - And on our end of the floor, you know we're getting
a layup that rolled off. A tip that hung on the front
of the rim and rolled off. Threes that rattled in and out. - [Mike Rhoades] Through
out the year when we were one, two, three possessions
away we found a way to get there and get a lead
or get tied up or make it put more pressure on them. - [Voiceover] Especially
with a big guy on him. - [Voiceover] Well
he goes to the corner and Vanzant three! Huge three by Shawn Vanzant. And it's back to back to seven. And a timeout called
by Shaka Smart. - Even if we missed a shot
or we missed an easy shot underneath or you know
we gave a second shot. We were always within
striking distance and we never lost contact of the game. - They kept defending
and they kept battling and then we got it
back to four again. - [Voiceover] On the
defensive end here. As Skeen puts up the-- - [Voiceover] And one we
got a chance for the four point play. - [Voiceover] Hey it's
not rocket science folks. Get the ball to your best
player and see if he could do something good for you. - It's like the, you
know you feel like again, it's destiny. It's gonna happen. - [Voiceover] Rams
gotta get a stop here. This is it. With 1:15 to go, Rams
have given so much guts in a 61, 57 game. Butler's getting exactly
what they want in terms of the type of game. With nine on the shock
clock here's Shawn Vanzat. Off the dribble
penetration, left side. - They were not gonna
be denied either. I mean it was the
immovable force against the irresistible object and
it was whoever got the biggest player or the biggest rebound
was gonna win that game. - [Voiceover] The
baseline fade away. No. Power with a follow up. The same shot into the game. - [Voiceover] You expect
him to make a play like that but not at that moment you
know we expected him coming into the game for him to do
stuff like that but at that moment it just crushed us. - It still, it still
kinda hurts man. Knowing that you
were that close. Losing to Butler
was a big thing. So it's like, I don't know
the right wording for it but it'll always be there. No matter how much we look
at the glory that we had, you still gotta think
about how it ended. - [Voiceover] Howard
had to back off. And still gets the rebound. And a foul against VCU. - [Voiceover] I think I
learned a long time ago that sometimes the ball
just doesn't go in. I mean it's that, you could
draw it up and you can execute sometimes the ball just doesn't
go in and when you see balls going half way down and not
coming back down it does, you start to think like oh
wow is it gonna end here. Is this the way it's gonna go. - [Voiceover] What
a run it's been. They had to play that
extra game in Dayton. One of the last teams in. The coach just his second year. That so many people
criticized for even being a selection into the tournament. Boy did they
justify their place. - [Voiceover] You know we
didn't play our best game against Butler, some balls
didn't go in that normally do for us. Some whistles might
not gone our way. But I do think we went out
there, we put our best foot forward, we
competed, we battled. Think if a couple things go
differently maybe we would have found ourselves in a
national championship game, but I definitely think we
went out there with nothing to lose and we gave
it everything we had. - I mean we're thankful
for making it that far. We put in maximum effort. We left it all on the floor. It was great being out
there competing you know. - It was tough to accept
that you know we weren't gonna be playing for the
national championship on Monday night but
then when you sit back and you look at it, you know
you just had to be thankful. - [Voiceover] As the
clock kinda went to zero and you know I kept looking
back at the VCU fans to kinda see the reaction. And there were very few tears. I mean I'm sure that there were, but they were so proud. I think that the pride
overwhelmed the sadness that they felt. The pride that they were
there on that stage. They earned the place
to be on that stage. - [Voiceover] If you ever
wanted a standing ovation of 70,000 listen to this. The crowd showing their
appreciation to the seniors who had an unbelievable run. - It was a pretty cool moment. You saw Butler fans
cheering and Kentucky, Yukon and everybody [mumbles] There was coaches up there
too and so I'm sure a few were in front of
their TV's cheering. - [Voiceover] I felt like
Rocky, the first Rocky. When Rocky against Apollo Creed. When Rocky lost the fight, and they cheered
Rocky for his effort. For his heart. For his determination. For getting, for over achieving. So when we lost I
said you know what, we maximized our potential. - [Voiceover] You know
think about all the names in college basketball that
have never had an opportunity to play in a Final Four. And yet our guys
had that chance. They had their moment
at the top of the game with the whole world
watching and they earned it. [soft rock music] - Now that it's over it's
kind of like surreal almost. [soft rock music] - [Voiceover] If you intend
something with all of your being and everything you do is
going towards that intention. And following through
on that intention, then it will come true. And of course when you're part
of a team it takes more than one person or two people or
three people to intend success, to intend a trip
to the Final Four. It takes a team full of
guys and families to do that but that's exactly what we had. - VCU in this tournament
knocks off the Pac-10, The Big East, The Big 10,
The ACC and The Big 12 comes up short against
the horizon league. - Yeah but they had
a phenomenal run and you heard Shaka
Smart talk about it. He hopes that his guys
understand just what they accomplished. - What they did is
flat out incredible. Him and his team should
be proud of what they accomplished but I don't think,
I mean what they really did is amazing. [upbeat music] - Once again they
don't think we can win but they don't matter. All year long we've
done it for each other. We've played for each other,
we've pulled for each other, we fought for each other. [upbeat music] - [Voiceover] Get's it in. Get's it right side with three. Drives, passes out the
single to jumper [screams] [screaming] - [Voiceover] Can you
believe the score. It's an 18 point lead [mumbles] over Kansas. - [Voiceover] It's over. [mumbles] Shaka, Jayhawk,
the Rams are going to the Final Four. They beat the Kansas
Jayhawks, 71,61. And deep in the heart of
Texas we will be staying.