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Thursday, April 1, 2010
Three cheers for VCU, your CBI champs

By Eamonn Brennan

Oh sure, the Final Four begins in just two days, and you're all like, "What's going to happen between Michigan State and Butler?" and "Who's going to win it all?" and "Can I check a second bag on my way to Indianapolis? Because it's going to be beautiful and I want to bring my golf clubs." Well guess what, lucky person: The world doesn't revolve around you and your little Final Four, OK? There are other basketball titles being decided right now, and Virginia Commonwealth just won one of them. Not that you noticed. Ya big jerk.

Yes, the Rams topped Rick Majerus' St. Louis team in the second game of the CBI's rather novel three-game championship format, taking the title home to a no-doubt enthralled Richmond, Va. I might be being a little sarcastic, but this is actually a pretty darn good win for the Rams -- Majerus' team made a serious run at NCAA tournament inclusion down the stretch of the season. Had the Billikens won another game in the A-10 tournament, they would have played in the Big Dance. So while winning the CBI title isn't exactly the stuff childhood dreams are made of, beating St. Louis to do so certainly counts for something.

Of course, the Rams were motivated by other factors, as well. From the AP wrap:
"Just trying to get home," said Jamie Skeen, who hit a pair of crucial baskets in the final two minutes of the Rams' 71-65 victory over Saint Louis on Wednesday night. "If we win, we get to go home." Top reserve Brandon Rozzell scored a career-high 27 points and was 4-for-7 from 3-point range, helping VCU beat Saint Louis for the second time in three nights. "We wanted this to be our last game," Rozzell said. "We kept that in mind."

I know those quotes are just the standard postgame road win fare, but they sound mischievously like VCU wanted to end their season as quickly as possible. All right guys. This is it. If we win tonight, we get to go home, relax, and end this interminable season for good. Who's with me?! OK, bring it in. On three, free time. One, two, three ... free time!