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USC vs. Virginia Commonwealth at a glance

How the Trojans and Rams match up in their first-round game to determine the No. 11-seeded team in the NCAA tournament's Southwest Regional.

March 14, 2011|By Baxter Holmes
  • Virginia Commonwealth forward Jamie Skeen talks with Coach Shaka Smart during a 70-65 loss to Old Dominion in the CAA tournament final.
Virginia Commonwealth forward Jamie Skeen talks with Coach Shaka Smart… (Geoff Burke / US Presswire )

USC (19-14)

vs. Virginia Commonwealth (23-11)


How they got here: USC had five wins against teams ranked in the Ratings Percentage Index top-50 and a schedule strength that ranked 39th nationally; Virginia Commonwealth advanced to the Colonial Athletic Assn. tournament championship game against Old Dominion.

Last 10 games: USC 7-3, VCU 5-5.

Best wins/worst losses: USC defeated Texas (27-7), Arizona (27-7) and Washington (23-10) but lost to Texas Christian (11-22), Oregon State (11-20) and Bradley (12-20). VCU defeated Old Dominion (27-6), George Mason (26-6) and UCLA (22-10), but lost to Georgia State (12-19).

Common opponents: Tennessee and UCLA. USC beat Tennessee and split the season series with UCLA. VCU lost to Tennessee and beat UCLA.

USC lineup: Starters — G Donte Smith (9.9 ppg); F Nikola Vucevic (17.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg); F Alex Stepheson (10 ppg, 9.2 rpg); G Jio Fontan (10.4 ppg); G Marcus Simmons (5 ppg). Top reserves — G Maurice Jones (9.9 ppg); F Garrett Jackson (3.3 ppg).

VCU lineup: Starters — G Joey Rodriguez (10.6 ppg, 4.8 apg); G Ed Nixon (7.4 ppg); G Bradford Burgess (14 ppg, 6.1 rpg); G Brandon Rozzell (11.3 ppg); F Jamie Skeen (15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg). Top reserves — G Rob Brandenberg (5.4 ppg); F Juvonte Reddic (3.4 ppg).

Stat watch: USC leads the Pacific 10 Conference in scoring defense (62.8) and fewest turnovers per game (11.4) and is second in field-goal percentage defense (41.1%). VCU leads the CAA in three-point field goals made per game (8.2), steals per game (8.5) and turnover margin (3.3).

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