Mahanoy City native Mike Rhoades has once again going dancing.
Rhoades is head coach of the men’s basketball team at Virginia Commonwealth University. On Sunday, his VCU Rams defeated Dayton, 68-56, to win the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament and punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament that starts this week.
Check out this video of an absolutely pumped Rhoades celebrating the big win over the Flyers, ensuring his team would be heading back to the tournament again:
VCU earned a 12th seed in the tournament and will face 5-seeded Saint Mary’s College.
VCU vs. Saint Mary’s – NCAA Tournament
Rhoades’ Rams have won 9 straight games heading into the tournament. VCU finished the 2022-23 season with an impressive 27-7 record but clearly needed to win the A-10 tournament on Sunday to get into the Big Dance this week.
The Rams have one of the best defensive teams in the country, ranked 24th overall in points allowed per game.
Many experts believe this game against Saint Mary’s, the runner-up in the regular season of the West Coast Conference to Gonzaga, is ripe for an upset. The last time the Gaels took the floor, they were obliterated by Gonzaga. But Saint Mary’s did finish the season with an almost equally impressive 26-7 record.
VCU vs. Saint Mary’s tips off on Friday at 2 p.m. on TBS.
Mike Rhoades at the NCAA Tournament
This year’s appearance in the NCAA tournament will be Rhoades’ third since taking over at VCU for the 2017-18 season.
VCU failed to make the tournament that season but Rhoades led the Rams to the tournament the following year. That season ended with a first-round loss to Central Florida.
The Rams made it back to the tournament in 2021 but were unable to play. The 10th-seeded VCU had to forfeit the game due to “COVID-19 protocols” and Oregon advanced to the next round by default.
Rhoades has had an impressive run at VCU, compiling a 128-60 overall record as head coach. He earned A-10 Coach of the Year in 2018-19.