March 15, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Shaka Smart is bringing No. 7 seed Virginia Commonwealth back to the Pacific Northwest to face No. 10 seed Ohio State on Thursday in Portland, Oregon.

The Rams were sent to Portland in 2012 when they knocked off Wichita State before losing to Indiana.

VCU (26-9) won only five of its last 11 regular-season games - and suffered its first three-game losing streak in Smart's six seasons as coach - after losing Briante Weber to a season-ending right knee injury late in a loss to Richmond on Jan. 31. But the Rams got hot in the Atlantic 10 tournament, beating Dayton in the title game.

Ohio State (23-10) was ousted in the Big Ten quarterfinals by Michigan State and was 4-4 in its final eight games. But the Buckeyes are dangerous because of D'Angelo Russell and his 19.3 points per game.

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