Rams to ruin Beavers' NCAA return?

Rams to ruin Beavers' NCAA return?

Welcome back to March Madness, Oregon State. It’s been a while indeed.

Online sports book BetDSI likes the Beavers’ chances of making matters interesting in their first NCAA tournament appearance in 26 years. OSU has stood as a 4-point underdog ever since its second-round matchup with VCU was announced.

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The crew from the Pacific Northwest may have to reacquaint itself with certain Big Dance customs, but the Rams all but have this gig down to a science. They’ve reached the tourney in every year since 2011, when that memorable Final Four run earned the nation's adoration.

While Shaka Smart no longer leads the program, Will Wade has altered very little about the ferocious style that captivated everyone in the first place. VCU overcame a 5-5 start to win its first nine Atlantc-10 games and finished second in the conference tournament.

For the Beavers’ part, they managed three victories vs. top-25 squads en route to locking down at an-large berth out of the Pac-12. Senior guard Gary Payton II not only channels his father on the defensive end of the floor, but also registers 15 points and seven rebounds per contest.

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There’s no disputing that head coach Wayne Tinkle has already engineered a remarkable two-season turnaround in Corvallis. We question, though, whether Payton has enough help to combat a press that even common opponents, let alone non-regional foes, find miserable.

FRIDAY NCAA FREE PICK: VCU -4

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