Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/15/12

VCU was one of the stunning stories of last year’s NCAA Tournament when they reached the Final Four as a No. 11 seed. This year they’re a No. 12 seed, and a lot of people were calling their opponent — No. 5 seed Wichita State — “the VCU” of the tournament. That story didn’t last long as VCU beat Wichita St. 62-59 in the first round of the tournament Thursday.

Smart revealed after his team’s win that he used “the VCU” line as part of his speech to his squad to remind them nobody else was VCU. He also had all his players sign a bracket that showed VCU advancing to the Sweet 16 to help them visualize their preseason goal.

“When they signed, they’re saying, ‘I’m all in. I’m going to do everything it takes to accomplish this goal,’” Smart explained, per Jeff Eisenberg.

Some people may consider the tactic phony or lame, but I’m big on goal visualization. You have to see yourself doing something in order for it to happen, and that’s exactly what Smart is preaching. We’re seeing once again why Smart is one of the top coaches in the game, and why VCU’s prediction that they’re back to bust our brackets again may prove to be correct.

VCU will face No. 4 seed Indiana on Saturday.

Picture via Jeff Eisenberg

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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