BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Six weeks ago, VCU was riding a 12-game winning streak, undefeated in the Atlantic 10 and eyeing a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament. Some 285 miles to the south, Davidson found itself staring at a 5-4 conference record in early February, its postseason chances seemingly slim.
Things can change quickly in college basketball.
When the two schools meet in the A-10 semifinals Saturday, Davidson will be wearing white, the reward for a nine-game winning streak to close the regular season. And perhaps the only thing as improbable as the Wildcats’ regular-season title in their inaugural A-10 season was VCU finishing tied for fourth. Even after a pair of victories in the A-10 tournament, the Rams have still lost six of their past 13 games, and Joe Lunardi now projects them to be a 10-seed in the NCAA tournament. Davidson? A 9-seed.
As much as these two teams have been traveling in opposite directions, they share a common trait on the eve of Selection Sunday: They both project as excellent Giant Killers. That shouldn’t be a surprise. They have authored some of the most impressive underdog runs since we launched the Giant Killers project in 2006, particularly Davidson’s journey to the Elite Eight in 2008 (they had a guard on that team who was pretty good. What was his name again?) and VCU’s Final Four trip in 2011.
This season, our model ranks them among the best potential Giant Killers in the field. Davidson sports a 26.2 GK rating. If you are new to the blog, that means it has a 26.2 percent chance of beating an average Giant. Meanwhile, VCU is annually at the top of the GK rankings, and this year is no different, as they sport a typically insane 54.3 mark. However, as we discussed recently, if you look only at the 12 games VCU has played since Briante Weber hurt his knee, that number drops to 27.7.