Let's dance

March 14, 2022

March Madness

The University of Richmond men's basketball team topped one-seed Davidson Sunday to win the Atlantic 10 Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in more than a decade.

"I'm thrilled and so happy for our team, all 20 players and the coaches and managers, but especially the six seniors who came back," said Richmond Head Coach Chris Mooney, referring to the players who returned to UR with an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. "For them to realize our dream of a championship today is very special and means a lot to me."

VCU, a three seed, was the first to fall in this weekend's A-10 tournament against the Spiders, in a game where guard Jacob Gilyard scored a career-high 32 points, and the team clinched the win 75-64.

Then came second-seeded Dayton, in which the Spiders overcame a 15-point deficit to win 68-64. Forward Matt Grace scored five straight points and jumpstarted an 11-point run, which pulled the team ahead to get the victory. Forward Grant Golden and Gilyard broke records for rebounds and three-pointers, respectively, in the Saturday afternoon game against theFlyers.

On Sunday, Richmond outscored Davidson 7-0 over the final 70 seconds to secure the second Atlantic 10 title in Spider history.

"It comes with confidence and believing in myself," said Grace said. "I know I have the ability to make plays and be in big games and play a lot. Being confident and understanding that and seizing the moment is what I’ve been doing."

Grace tied the game with a little over a minute to go, and pushed the team ahead with a free throw point with 19 seconds left. Another free-throw point from Gilyard sealed the win for the Spiders, 64-62, along with the A-10 chapmionship trophy, and an automatic ticket to the NCAA tournament.

The Spiders last won the A-10 tournament in 2011, when the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. This will be the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Spiders in program history.