VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart earned his 100th career victory in the Rams’ 90-63 triumph at Duquesne on Jan. 19. Smart is just the 12th coach in NCAA history to win 100 games in four years and reached the century mark in 131 games, faster than all but 29 coaches. Smart is the third VCU coach to win 100 games for the Rams, joining Sonny Smith (136) and J.D. Barnett (132). Here’s a look at some of Smart’s milestone victories from the last four seasons.
1-VCU 77, Bethune-Cookman 51 (Nov. 13, 2009)
The Shaka Smart era begins in earnest with a rout of Bethune-Cookman as Joey Rodriguez scores 17 points.
2-VCU 82, #17 Oklahoma 69 (Nov. 21, 2009)
The Rams pound Oklahoma and former Coach Jeff Capel to earn their first victory over a ranked opponent in Siegel Center history.
17-VCU 70, Old Dominion 58 (Feb. 6, 2010)
One of the best ways to win over your fanbase is by beating your rival. In his first opportunity, Shaka Smart led the Rams to a 12-point victory over Old Dominion at the Siegel Center. Larry Sanders led the Rams with 14 points as VCU improved to 17-5.
27-VCU 71, Saint Louis 65 (March 31, 2010) – CBI Championship
After a semifinal loss to Old Dominion in the CAA Tournament, the Rams were disappointed to learn they were left out of the NIT. But Smart rallied his troops for five straight wins to capture the College Basketball Invitational. VCU swept Saint Louis 2-0 in the best-of-three championship series, including the clincher at the Billikens’ Chaifetz Arena. Brandon Rozzell erupted for a career-high 27 points in the win. It would be a sign of postseason heroics to come from Rozzell.
30-VCU 90, Wake Forest 69 (Nov. 16, 2010)
A strong second half, keyed by Smart’s trademark “Havoc” full-court press spurs the Rams to a Preseason NIT victory. The win punched VCU’s ticket to the tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.
31-VCU 89, UCLA 85 (Nov. 26, 2010)
VCU wraps up a third-place finish at the Preseason NIT with a win over storied UCLA, a victory that would prove crucial to the Rams’ postseason chances.
48-VCU 68, Wichita State 67 (Feb. 18, 2011)
After back-to-back losses to Old Dominion and George Mason, the Rams were reeling. But Smart and VCU regrouped for a white-knuckle BracketBusters win at Wichita State on a pair of Rodriguez free throws with 0.8 seconds remaining. It is a widely held belief that VCU does not receive an NCAA Tournament bid without this win.
51-VCU 59, USC 46 (March 16, 2011) – NCAA First Four
“You think Jay Bilas watched that game?” – Shaka Smart
53-VCU 94, Purdue 76 (March 20, 2011) – NCAA Round of 32
Just two weeks after the Rams’ NCAA hopes appeared dead, Smart leads VCU to its first Sweet 16 appearance. In the process, the Rams shred the Big Ten’s best defense with shocking efficiency.
54-VCU 72, Florida State 71 OT (March 25, 2011) – NCAA Sweet 16
Just when you thought VCU’s NCAA run couldn’t get any better: Bradford Burgess scores on an inbounds pass from Rodriguez with 7.0 seconds left in overtime to send the Rams to the Elite Eight.
55-VCU 71, Kansas 61 (March 27, 2011) – NCAA Southwest Region Final
Just when you thought VCU’s NCAA run couldn’t get any better (The Sequel): Jamie Skeen scores 27 points to lead the Rams to not just the biggest win in school history, but according to ESPN, the biggest upset of the year. Smart cuts down the nets as the Rams complete the most stunning Final Four run in NCAA Tournament history.
65-VCU 76, Akron 75 OT (Dec. 29, 2011)
Smart, coaching against friend and mentor Keith Dambrot, watches Darius Theus score on a game-winning layup with 2.1 seconds remaining as the Rams steal a hard-fought road win.
80-VCU 89, George Mason 77 (Feb. 25, 2012)
On Senior Day, Bradford Burgess goes bonkers and dumps George Mason with 31 points.
83-VCU 59, Drexel 56 (March 5, 2012) – CAA Championship
Smart leads the Rams to their first (and last) CAA Championship. VCU storms to a 35-19 halftime lead and eventually holds on for the win. Theus scores 16 points and is named tournament MVP.
84-VCU 62, Wichita State 59 (March 15, 2012) – NCAA Round of 64
Burgess scores 16 points at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. as VCU wins an NCAA Tournament game in consecutive years for the first time since the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons.
87-VCU 78, #19 Memphis 65 (Nov. 22, 2012)
VCU opens the Battle 4 Atlantis with an attention-grabbing upset of ranked Memphis. Sophomore Treveon Graham holds his own coming out party by scoring 26 points.
97-VCU 74, Dayton 62 (Jan. 9, 2013)
In the first Atlantic 10 Conference game in school history, Smart directs VCU to a 12-point victory in front of the schools’ 28th consecutive sellout at the Siegel Center.
100-VCU 90, Duquesne 63 (Jan. 19, 2013)
Rob Brandenberg and Treveon Graham combine for 42 points in a runaway VCU victory, the Rams’ 13th straight win.