Questions surrounding whether the Toledo Rockets can have a repeat performance of a school record 27 win season have been asked all off season. Well, now is the time to prove you're not just another mid-major, Toledo. The Rockets travel to Richmond, Virginia this week to play the role of underdog against perennial power, and 15th ranked mid-major VCU.
Case to be made for Toledo
Toledo is returning four starters who have big game (national television) experience. Practically the same squad who lost to Kansas by 10 last season in Allen Fieldhouse. Not too shabby, however, Kansas is not VCU. Toledo won their opening tilt of the season 71-58 against Northern Arizona. This was Toledo's chance to shake the cobwebs off and get ready for, what I expect to be a very hectic game. If Toledo has any chance to win, they will need to clean up their game. In the 13 point win on Sunday, the Rockets got out rebounded by five, and by eight on the offensive glass. In the spirit of Halloween past, that's spooky. They will also need to cut down on the turnovers. 17 turnovers is not how you beat great basketball programs.
How can VCU win?
They can't. Jokingly of course, but VCU is a tenacious defensive team. Coach Shaka Smart prides himself on teams that play defenses to create havoc for their opponents. Creating 19 turnovers in their season opening win against Tennessee 85-69. VCU has been one of the best mid-major programs in the country for what feels like a decade now, and while playing at home, this will instill the Rams to play better, that we can be sure of. One thing to note however, is starting PG JeQuan Lewis was on the wrong end of a tug-o-war, and ended up smacking his head on the court last game. He was unconscious for a few moments, and seemed to have has a short lasting seizure when coming back to. He must pass the concussion protocol and will be listed as probable for Tuesday night.
While my gut tells me the Rams will have no problems with the Rockets and end up winning somewhere in the ballpark of 80-65, my heart tell me to forget everything about what my gut says and predict the final score will be 78-74 Rockets. With that being said, I take no responsibility if you gamble on this game, lose, then try to sue me because, "that guy on that blog said blah blah blah." I don't wanna hear it. I just want a Toledo victory, not just for the University, but for the MAC as well. #MACForever
6:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time and will be show on ESPNU/WatchESPN