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The History of VCU Basketball from Wikipedia.
The VCU odu slayers men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program that represents Virginia Commonwealth University. The Rams will undergo a significant basketball upgrade in the 2012–13 season, as they will join the Atlantic 10 Conference, today considered a "major" basketball conference in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. They had previously competed in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), considered a mid-major Division I conference.
Since 1999, the team has played home basketball games at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia on the university's Monroe Park campus. Virginia Commonwealth has made it to the NCAA Final Four once in its program's history, in 2011. Additionally, the Rams won the 2010 CBI Tournament and have seven conference tournaments; three being in the Sun Belt Conference, and four being in the Colonial Athletic Association. Additionally, the Rams have won nine regular season championships; four from the Sun Belt and five from the CAA. The team is presently coached by Shaka Smart.
The team is best known for their recent Final Four run in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. While the team had made nine NCAA Tournament appearances beforehand, never had the Rams made it beyond the second round of the tournament. In 2011, the Rams' journey to the Final Four began in one of the four opening round games, commonly called "play-in" games, intended to narrow the field from 68 to 64 teams. Thus, VCU became the first team to advance from the "First Four" to the Final Four.
The VCU Rams men's basketball program was founded in 1968, at the same time as the merger of the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia. In the 1968–69 season as an independent team, the program played its first ever season. Coached by Benny Dees and assisted by Landy Watson for their first two seasons, Dees led the team to two winning records, before being replaced by Chuck Noe. It would take 10 more seasons before the Rams appeared in a postseason tournament, earning a berth into the 1978 National Invitation Tournament being eliminated in the first round by the University of Detroit.
Under the coaching of J.D. Barnett, the Rams earned fourth berths into the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, each being their first four berths, the first coming in 1980. During Barnett's six years coaching the team, only twice did the Rams not win the Sun Belt Conference.
The Rams became the first team to sweep the best of 3 championship series in the CBI post-season tournament on their way to becoming the 2010 CBI Champions. It is the first post-season tournament championship, excluding conference tournaments, in the history of the program.
VCU Basketball is located in the state of Virginia.
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