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Casual Investigation NCAA Tournament Edition! USC v. VCU: Who Does Georgetown Want To Win?

Though it is difficult to top an interview with a former President of the United States of America, it is nonetheless imperative that we move on and tackle yet another Casual Investigation! Our hard-hitting series that has changed the face of America! First, we utilized scientific medical studies to determine with precision when exactly Chris Wright would be able to return to action. Then, we exposed and brought national shame to four AP voters that failed to rank Georgetown on their ballots. Next, we saddled up the male cheerleader for searing insight into the male cheerleading travesty at Louisville. And now, we bring you the epic fourth installment, where we examine which team Georgetown fans should be rooting for to win tonight's play-in game between USC and VCU!

The foot appears much larger when magnified! via

Dishing great insight and uncovering national treasures after The Jump:

The Trojans of Southern California take on the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth tonight in the second of two 1st round games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in Dayton. Georgetown clearly has a vested interest in the outcome, of course, because the winner gets to board a plane and head to Chicago to face your Hoyas on Friday night for what is likely to be the most late night action any of you will get all year. And while Hoyas fans around the world will try to find truTV on their cable boxes to watch these teams do battle (read: hope for ruptured tendons and/or seven overtimes), we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON ask: who do you want to win?

Option A: The Virginia Commonwealth Rams

According to the USC followers over at The Orange County Register, the Trojans consider VCU to be very similar to the Pac-10 champion Washington Huskies. Check it:

"They really play hard. They're a veteran team. They're going to play size-down some with this kid (Bradford) Burgess (pictured) at the 4. We're going to have to be prepared to do a lot of different things defensively. They shoot 28 3s a game. They press a lot. They're very aggressive. They're a strip-steal team. And extremely well-coached. So we're going to have to play a great game."

O'Neill always thinks defense first. To adequately defend the Rams, O'Neill said, the Trojans will need to give "multiple efforts." That means shrinking the court - i.e., clogging the lane to limit penetration - and getting out on the Rams' 3-point shooters.

"If you don't have good multiple efforts," O'Neill said, "then you're going to put yourself in a position where they're going to make 3s or get to the paint."

The above analysis seems to contradict JUST A TAD with ESPN's Jay Bilas' remarks after the Tournament field was announced, when he basically said that VCU has as much business making the field of 68 as my mom.

The takeaway: Any team that presses and shoots a billion threes a game (VCU 11th in the nation in threes made and attempted) scares the bejeesus out of me. However, VCU doesn't seem to have much of a presence inside, which bodes well for Julian Vaughn who has been LIGHTS OUT lately.

Option B: The Southern California Trojans

Reggie Bush! Matt Leinart! OJ Mayo! OJ Simpson! None of these guys will be facing the Hoyas, but the Trojans are an entirely new breed of shitshow, a team with a solid frontcourt stacked with guys with big bodies who get after it on the glass. Here is the analysis of the game by our friends at CAA Hoops:

USC finished strong, winning six of eight to close out the season, notably winning at Washington and at home versus Arizona.

Common opponents: UCLA (USC split, with each team winning by double digits on its home floor and VCU beat UCLA in Madison Square Garden 89-85); Tennessee (SoCal beat the Vols 65-64 and VCU lost to them, 77-72 in, you guessed it, Madison Square Garden).

Ken Pomeroy gives the game to the Trojans, 68-63, giving VCU just a 29% chance of winning. (Side note: that’s 27 percentage points better than we thought for VCUs inclusion.)

The Four Factors show USC to be a superior defensive team, ranking 30th in the country with an adjusted efficiency score of 91.9. Their adjusted tempo is 313th fastest. (Or, about 30th slowest.)

USC takes care of the basketball (18.0 turnover percentage is 52nd) and shoots it well, but they don’t get to the line very often.

In games decided by fewer than six points, VCU is 9-6 and USC is 5-7.

Making early shots is critical. VCU is a terrible two-point shooting team (45.0%, 319th) but a top 30 three point shooting team (34.3%).

Neither team is much of a glass hound, though USC boxes you out. When they miss, they will get back on defense (offensive rebounding percentage of 30.6%, 234th nationally) but understand the first responsibility is to check you out on your misses (hold opponents to 27.9% offensive rebounds).

The difference in the game is going to come down to how many times USC has the basketball. USC is 3-7 when the opponent scores more than 70 points. That’s notable for pace reasons, too. Only 10 times all season did an opponent reach 70.

In a game like this, USCs ability to protect the basketball will win out–if they are taking care of it they create long possessions and get to run their stuff. If not, they are in trouble. For Smart, it isn’t always the number of possessions, but their value. Getting USC to turn the ball over in halfcourt setting is as important as firing a ball to the fourth row in the press.

However it is worth noting that pace is the most difficult thing to force in the NCAA tournament. Many games devolve into rock fights, and that doesn’t favor the Rams.

If VCU can shoot a reasonable percentage from three, and make eight more more, they should win.

That statement begets our Two Big Numbers: 8, and 15: Three pointers for VCU and turnovers for USC.

Funny when you think about it, the result may have nothing to do with the good guys. The Trojans have beaten Texas, Arizona, UCLA, and Tennessee but lost to Rider, Bradley, and twice to Oregon. The Trojans have been a bit schizophrenic this year.

The takeaway: CAA Hoops is good at analysis.

So what do you think, kids? Based on a non-scientific, non-expert analysis of the factors above and the sounds of my own mindgrapes, I am ready to reveal the following:

I believe that the Georgetown Hoyas are best suited to win a game against VCU, but will likely face USC. I also believe that it doesn't matter which team Georgetown will face because neither will have sufficient time to prepare for the deadly precision of the Princetown offense that will be deftly led by our fearless leader, Chris Wright.

Casual investigations are the best.