VCU’s win over then 20th-ranked Butler propelled the Rams back into the national limelight as VCU re-entered the AP poll at No. 21 this week, and they moved up in the USA Today Coaches Poll to No. 19. But the Rams still had some business to tend to with cross-town & league rival Richmond on Wednesday night. It was the Spiders who upset VCU in January when the Rams first entered the AP poll at No. 24, so despite the tournament seedings being set, this was not vacation time for the Black & Gold.
Wednesday night at the Siegal Center in Round 2 of the “Battle of Richmond”, again, the Spiders came ready to play and up to the task of taking down a national power. Fortunately for the Rams, Coach Shaka Smart’s team found some resolve late in the game to pull away in the final minutes en route to a 93 – 82 Atlantic-10 victory before a sellout crowd. VCU improved to 24 – 6 with the season finale’ coming up Saturday in Philadelphia at Temple University and the A-10 Tournament opening next week.
In the MEAC, the conference tournament is coming to the Norfolk Scope beginning next Monday. At this point, the big question around the league is can anyone in the MEAC defeat the Spartans of Norfolk State, who will be playing the tournament at home in the Norfolk Scope. NSU won it’s 22nd game of the season and 15th in a row last night with a 55 – 48 win over North Carolina A & T, giving the Spartans an undefeated season in the MEAC, finishing at 16 – 0. North Carolina Central is 14 – 1 in the league following their blowout of Hampton last night, but ironically, the Aggies will not play Norfolk State in the regular season. That would make for a doozy of a MEAC Championship game next weekend in Norfolk if both advance.
The CIAA Tournament is history for 2013, and none of the 804’s entries were sucessful this season in bringing home the CIAA titles. The honors went to the men of Bowie State University, and the women of Shaw University, who won their third straight CIAA Championship. For Virginia State & Virginia Union Universities, the season is complete.