Forget George Mason — VCU’s trying for its own ‘bit of history’

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You’ve seen this show before. A Colonial Athletic team gets into the Big Dance as one of the last at-large berths, grabs an 11 seed and makes an improbable run to the Final Four.

VCU’s one win away from making like league rival George Mason and reaching the NCAA tournament’s final weekend. The Patriots did it in 2006. Five years later, it’s the same thing for the Rams.

“The run they made was great. Hopefully we can do exactly what they did and go even further,” VCU forward Jamie Skeen said.

But, like any good sequel, this one has a twist. VCU’s already won as many NCAA tourney games as George Mason did in ’06. For that, the Rams can thank the NCAA’s addition of the “First Four” this season as part of the expansion to 68 teams. (The selection committee shouldn’t expect a card from VCU coach Shaka Smart.)

As a result, the Rams have beaten a team from the Pac-10, Big East, Big Ten and ACC. Big 12 champ Kansas is up next.

That kind of run isn’t lost on the players. They know what they’ve done, and are keenly aware that one more win places them in territory few schools outside of the big six conferences have gone. VCU wants more.

“It’s fair to compare the two teams,” Bradford Burgess said. “But we’re trying to make a bit of history for ourselves and not just stop at making the Final Four.”

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