The 2017 NCAA Tournament officially begins for all teams Thursday, March 16 in basketball arenas across the country. In West bracket, No. 7 St. Mary’s will played its first tournament game against No. 10 VCU at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The winner of the game between the Gaels and Rams will earn the right to play the winner of No. 2 Arizona against No. 15 North Dakota. Their game will take place on the same court immediately after the Gaels-Rams matchup. The winners will face each other on Saturday for the right to advance to the Sweet 16.
Here’s all the information you’ll need for the St. Mary’s vs. VCU game:
2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game time, details
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Date: Thursday, March 16
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena; Salt Lake City, Utah
What TV channel is the 2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game game on?
TBS is televising the game.
How can I watch the 2017 NCAA Tournament 2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game online?
NCAA.com will broadcast all games for free online. Click here to watch.
How can I listen to the 2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game?
The game will be broadcast by Westwood One Sports, with Kevin Kugler and Dan Dickau on the call. You can find information on radio stations and streaming options here.
Who is calling the 2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game on television?
Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Debbie Antonelli and Lisa Byington will call the game for TBS.
2017 NCAA Tournament St. Mary’s vs. VCU game preview
Points could be at a premium in this one, as St. Mary’s features the second-stingiest defense in the country. They allow 56.5 points per game, second only to Virginia. VCU averages 75.0 points per contest, but when they don’t score at least 70 this season, the Rams are a measly 4-5.
Similar to Virginia, St. Mary’s slowly sucks the life out of the opponent with a very deliberate offense. The Gaels make the opposition defend for 30 seconds by taking up the entire shot clock. St. Mary’s is the country’s second-slowest tempo offense according to kenpom.com. St. Mary’s also shoots 49.6 percent, which is eighth-best in the NCAA.
Junior center Jock Landale leads the way for the Gaels with 16.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Junior forward Calvin Hermanson also averages double-figure point with 13.0 per night.
St. Mary’s fell in the West Coast Conference Championship to No. 1 seeded Gonzaga, 74-56. It was the third time this season St. Mary’s lost to Gonzaga; the only other team they lost to was the UT Arlington Mavericks.
VCU also advanced to their conference tournament in the Atlantic 10, but the Rams fell to Rhode Island, 70-63. VCU lost to Rhode Island twice down the stretch and finished just 3-3 in its final six games.
Senior guard JeQuan Lewis leads the Rams with 14.7 points and 4.6 assists. Junior forward Justin Tillman also averages double-figures with 12.4 points and 8.8 rebounds. Despite just the .500 record since Feb. 25, Lewis has posted four double-doubles. Tillman has 11 double-doubles this season and all of them came during conference play.