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Rapid Reaction: VCU 84, Butler 52

RICHMOND, Va. -- A quick look at VCU’s 84-52 win over Butler.

Overview: With rumors swirling that Butler could be moving on to the newly reconstructed Big East, this could be the first and last meeting of these two name-brand programs as conference rivals. It’s not the sort either will soon forget, although Butler would surely like to.

The Rams were terrific, the Bulldogs a debacle. One led to the other. VCU’s trademark "havoc" defense created more bedlam for the Bulldogs, whose biggest adventure was getting the ball over midcourt … or at times even inbounded.

The Rams’ first-half defense was easily the best I’ve seen this season, leaving Butler completely flummoxed and out-of-character sloppy. The Bulldogs did themselves few favors on the defensive end, either, allowing VCU to sink 10 3-pointers.

Turning point: Jump ball. The Rams took it to the Bulldogs from the get-go, their energy and pressure putting Butler on its heels and out of the game early. The Bulldogs trailed 45-21 at the break, and that was about all she wrote.

Key player: Troy Daniels. He hit a 3-pointer that was from where one might draw a 4-point line. That about sums up Daniels’ night. He had 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

Key stat: 34-2. That was the points-off-turnovers edge for VCU, which tells you just how much Havoc the Rams really wreaked. Butler coughed up 23 turnovers, and VCU capitalized on just about every one.

Miscellaneous: With the win, VCU guarantees itself a top-four seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. … The last time a team had 15 steals against the Bulldogs came 13 years ago, when Cleveland State swiped 15 on Jan. 13, 2000. The Rams had 14 at the break. … With this game, the Rams have sold out the Siegel Center 34 games in a row

Next game: The Rams face rival Richmond on Wednesday before finishing out the regular season at Temple. … Butler travels to Massachusetts on Thursday, then closes out the Atlantic 10 regular season at home against Xavier.