clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament Second Round Recap: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma too much for VCU

VCU had a valiant comeback Sunday evening but in the end Buddy Hield was just too much for the Rams.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners jumped all over the VCU Rams to start Sunday's game in Oklahoma City to the tune of a 21-7 start.  The Sooners inflicted most of the pain without the help of all-everything Buddy Hield and went into halftime up 44-31.

The second half saw the Rams wake up but also saw Hield wake open.  VCU would battle all the way back to take a 62-61 lead with just over nine minutes left in the game. VCU's resurgence mainly came from Michaell Gilmore, who has been sparingly used by Will Wade all year. Gilmore finished the game with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Unfortunately, for Rams fans, Hield exploded for Oklahoma and eventually finished the game with 36 points and 7 rebounds. Jequan Lewis had a huge night for VCU with 22 points and 9 assists but he was once again a March goat for the Rams with two late turnovers that doomed the end of the season for VCU.

Will Wade never seemed to find a comfortable rotation with VCU on Sunday and got little to no production from Korey Billbury, Jonathan Williams, Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed, Justin Tillman, and Doug Brooks.  Those five players alone combined for 11 of the Rams 81 points.

Instead Wade relied on the volume shooting of Lewis and Melvin Johnson, who added 23 points. Mo Alie-Cox posted 10 points and 4 boards, with a series of dunks that helped shift the momentum during the Rams comeback.

The 85-81 loss ends Will Wade's first season with a 25-11 mark, the most losses for the Rams since 2011 but their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2013 when they beat an illness-ridden Akron squad.

The Rams loss ends the collegiate careers of Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury.  Mo Alie-Cox, Jordan Burgess, and Doug Brooks can all transfer this summer without penalty.