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There’s No Bandwagon Here

There’s No Bandwagon Here

Shaka 2012 net cut

There was a lot of disbelief among the college basketball world during the Cinderella story written in the NCAA tournament history book when VCU  made their epic run from the first four to the Final Four in 2011.  Some contested their right to be selected to participate.   The naysayers could be heard asking, “Where did this young coach come from?” and “V-C-Who?”.   Many claimed it was just a momentary bandwagon effect.  Virginia Commonwealth had some stand out players in the past; however, they did not have name recognition outside of their league like some schools. There may have been some doubts, but that was all about to change.

It truly was history in the making and Richmond was about to embark on a major transformation with the VCU Rams at the forefront of it all.  Almost overnight there were VCU fans everywhere and the community embraced all things black and gold.  Watch parties took over restaurants in the city and suburbs, branded and tournament apparel were out of stock everywhere, and one of the largest races in the country – the Monument 10k was rebranded the “Rampede” in honor of the Final Four game playing that same day.

The disbelievers said it wouldn’t last, that it was an anomaly.  It was predicted that Shaka Smart wouldn’t keep this success, and fans would fall off the bandwagon as quickly as they had joined.  So let’s consider that for a moment. Now that Shaka is about to embark on his 6th season with the Rams, what do the stats say about those predictions of failure and a fall from fan grace?

Season Wins Losses Percentage NCAA Tournament
2009-10 27 9 0.750 No
2010-11 28 12 0.700 Yes – Final Four
2011-12 29 7 0.806 Yes
2012-13 27 9 0.750 Yes
2013-14 26 9 0.743 Yes

Under coach Smart’s leadership VCU has continued to make an appearance at the NCAA tournament every year since the Final Four run in 2011.  While there may be some bandwagon fans floating out there, there are many who are  going to be at the Stu, watch parties, or their homes chanting “You don’t wanna go to war with the Rams.  Don’t start no Stuff, won’t be no Stuff!” for life.

A founding member of 400 North Media LLC, Pamela was the original editor and primary contributor for VCUSports.com when it launched. She currently serves as communications liaison, videographer, and ad hoc contributor. During the day Pamela is a learning consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She's also an avid volunteer who works with several non-profits in Richmond and beyond.

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