Final OT

(11) VCU 79

(28-7, 16-2 CAA)

(3) Pittsburgh 84

(29-7, 12-4 Big East)

    5:50 PM ET, March 17, 2007

    1 2 OT T
    #11VCU 26 43 1079
    #3PITT 41 28 1584

    Top Performers

    Virginia Commonwealth: J. Pellot-Rosa 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Pittsburgh: A. Gray 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    'Maynor Mania' rages as VCU prepares for Pitt

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Welcome to "Maynor Mania."

    Virginia Commonwealth guard Eric Maynor woke up Friday to discover his life had changed immeasurably. His voice mail was full, ushers at Buffalo's HSBC Arena were calling out his name and shaking his hand, and Maynor couldn't go anywhere without a reporter or cameraman in tow.

    Colonial Comparison
    Eric Maynor

    VCU's upset win over Duke on Thursday courtesy of Eric Maynor's late jumper is reminiscent of George Mason's Cinderella run to the Final Four last season. Will history repeat itself?

      GMU VCU
    Conference Colonial Colonial
    Location Virginia Virginia
    First-round victory vs. No. 6 Mich. St. vs. No. 6 Duke
    Tournament result Final Four TBD
    True upset? Experts weigh in
    Bilas Insider Audio | Katz Insider Audio | Lavin Insider Audio

    It's not unexpected attention after Maynor hit a 15-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left -- a shot he's seen replayed again and again on TV -- that sealed the Rams' 79-77 upset of Duke in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

    "Yeah, with all the media and stuff, it's real different," Maynor said after practice. "But it's a great feeling. There's nothing like it."

    Maynor understands it's a feeling that won't last if he and the Rams lose their focus for Saturday's game against Pittsburgh Panthers, the No. 3 seed in the West Regional.

    "We've got to put it behind us," Maynor said. "Coach Grant was staying on us and telling us, 'We've got to live in the present, not the past.' The past was yesterday."

    A day ending the Blue Devils' 11-year run of advancing to the second round, VCU (28-6) has an opportunity to build on an already unprecedented season.

    The Rams, who won a school record 28 games, knocked off George Mason to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship.

    So, why stop now?

    "I don't think me and my teammates came here just to win the one game," Maynor said. "We're going into this game to play Pittsburgh, and we're also going in to get a win."

    The Panthers (28-7), coming off a first-round 79-58 win over Wright State, know better than to underestimate the Rams. Pittsburgh was upset by Pacific in the first round two years ago and knocked off by No. 13 seed Bradley in the second round a year ago.

    "I know they're very good," said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon who refused to use the term "mid-major" to describe the Rams. "I won't label them anything other than a good team."

    Still, Pitt's size -- 7-foot Aaron Gray and 6-foot-10 forward Levon Kendall -- and experience could present a challenge to Virginia Commonwealth. The Panthers feature a core of three senior starters who have been part of a team that's won 104 games and made four straight tournament appearances during their tenure.

    The Panthers, making their sixth straight tournament appearance and 19th overall, are trying to reach the round of 16 for the fourth time in six years.

    Tough on defense, Pitt's allowing 62.3 points per game, is responsible with the ball and has the patience to slow things down with a solid half-court attack.

    Controlling the pace will be key against the up-tempo Rams, who have three players averaging more than 13 points a game.

    "If we dictate the pace of the game, that's going to play in our hands," Kendall said.

    Shutting down Maynor, too, will be crucial.

    "He's going to score," Dixon said. "But we have to make it as tough as we can and make every player earn every basket they get."

    And Maynor wants the big baskets.

    Against Duke, he signaled he didn't want his coach to call a time out. Instead, Maynor took the inbounds pass and drove up the floor before launching his shot from just above the foul line.

    That poise and presence is what Rams coach Anthony Grant has come to expect.

    "I've gotten used to it. I've come to expect it, and those are qualities that are rare," Grant said. "He's a guy that embraces the competitiveness of the game, and he lives for those moments."


    School Info

    Conference Atlantic 10 ACC
    Nickname Rams Panthers
    Type Public Public


    » Mar 17, 2007 @PITT 84, VCU 79Recap