2010-11 Record:
22-9 (12-4 Conference USA)
2010-11 RPI: 37
Guy you’ll want to heckle:
Cameron Moore, Sr., F (14.4 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 4.1 bpg)
The skinny: Just think, VCU could’ve been UAB last March (or visa versa). The Blazers were similarly criticized by the talking heads at ESPN for their inclusion in the NCAA field. But while VCU was able to prove itself with a run to the Final Four, UAB was promptly rolled by Clemson in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

When coaches in future years want to emphasize the importance of playing 40 minutes of basketball and closing out teams, they’ll show their teams the tape from VCU’s 68-65 loss to UAB last year in Birmingham. The Rams led by 19 points with 13 minutes to go, and essentially dominated the game for 38 minutes, only to implode down the stretch. It was also the angriest I’ve ever been after a VCU Basketball game. I spent the next hour pacing around a Wal-Mart in Netcong, N.J. I’m not entirely sure why.

Forward Cameron Moore, a 6-10 senior, is a legitimate inside-outside threat, knocking down 24 3-pointers last year while blocking more than a shot per game. He’s currently averaging a double-double and has blocked 33 shots this season.

This year’s UAB squad is probably better than its 2-6 record indicates. The Blazers have lost to quality teams Creighton, Murray State, Wichita State and Kent State. That being said, UAB has also lost (at home) to UT-Martin.

The Blazers have been dreadful offensively, averaging 55.9 points while shooting .390 from the floor. UAB has hit just 26 percent (33-of-127) of its 3-point attempts. Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive ratings rank UAB 258th nationally in offense. The Blazers are averaging a VCU-friendly 15.3 turnovers a game. However, they have been decent on the defensive end, limiting opponents to less than 61 points per game.

About UAB: Although UAB has existed as an autonomous institution since 1969, the school did not have an intercollegiate athletics program until 1978. In just their second year, Coach Gene Bartow led the Blazers men’s basketball team to the NIT. Seven straight NCAA bids followed.
Fast fact:
UAB leads the all-time series between these two former Sun Belt rivals, 22-16. The Blazers’ last trip to the Siegel Center came on March 13, 2008, when UAB topped the Rams, 80-77, in the first round of the NIT.
Super Special Note: VCU will be seeking its ninth straight sellout Tuesday, which would tie a Colonial Athletic Association record, set by UNC Wilmington.