The final two games of the first round of the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament are tonight in Dayton, Ohio, with the Ohio State Buckeyes finding out who they will face in their 2nd Round match-up on Friday in Cleveland. UNC-Asheville and Clemson have already advanced. Who will join them?
Once again the games are on truTV, which is channel 246 on DirecTV.
Texas-San Antonio triumphed as the Southland Conference champs as an improbable seventh seed, dispatching with second seed, Northwestern State (97-96), in the quarterfinals, third-seeded and defending Southland Tournament champs Sam Houston State (79-70) in the semis, and finally regular-season champion and top seed McNeese State (75-72) in the final. It was the Roadrunners' third conference tourney crown and first since 2004. This will be their fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, having lost on all three previous occasions -- the last in 2004 to No. 1 seed Stanford. UTSA has won five in a row entering the tournament and seven of its last nine games overall.
Alabama State captured its second SWAC Tournament championship in the last three seasons by running the table as the No. 4 seed in 2011. It was the Hornets' fourth tourney title overall, defeating Alabama A&M (81-61), regular- season champs and top seed Texas Southern (73-66) in the semis, and finally Grambling State (65-48) in the final for their 11th win in the past 12 games and a fourth trip to the Big Dance. ASU stands at 0-3 in the tournament with its last loss coming in 2009 to Morehead State.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs in men's basketball. The winner gets the privilege of facing Ohio St. on Friday in Cleveland.
9:00PM et: (11)Va. Commonweath Rams(23-11) Vs. (11)USC Trojans(19-14) - truTV
Virginia Commonwealth secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after a strong showing in the CAA this season. The Rams entered the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed, defeated Drexel (62-60) in the quarterfinals, then took down top-seeded George Mason (79-63) in the semis before losing to Old Dominion (70-65) in the final game. VCU had a rather ambitious non- conference schedule that included five teams that made this tournament and a few other tough matchups, resulting in wins over Wofford and UCLA as well as defeats to Tennessee, Richmond and UAB. This will be the Rams' fourth NCAA appearance since 2004 and their 11th overall. They are 5-9 in the event all- time. The 2011 tournament will be the club's first as an at-large team since the 1983-84 season. VCU's last go-round was in 2009 when it lost to UCLA in the first round. The Rams had lost four straight CAA games heading into the conference tourney, their first such occurrence since the 1999-2000 campaign.
USC also received an at-large bid to this tournament after logging a 19-14 record this season, which included a 10-8 mark in Pac-10 play. The Trojans got by Cal, 70-56, in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament before falling to top seed and regular-season champion Arizona, 67-62, in the semis. USC finished strong overall, though, winning six of its last eight games, including regular-season triumphs over Arizona and eventual Pac-10 tourney champ Washington. The Trojans' non-conference schedule also yielded impressive victories against teams from this year's field, Texas and Tennessee, as well as a two-point loss at Kansas. USC is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in the last 11 seasons and making its 16th appearance overall. Over that time, the Trojans have managed a 12-16 record and last participated in 2009 when they dismissed Boston College in the first round before falling to eventual runner-up Michigan State in the second.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between USC and VCU on the hardwood. The winner faces Georgetown on Friday in Chicago.