AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Troy Daniels scored 23 points and Juvonte Reddic added 21, leading Virginia Commonwealth to an overwhelming 88-42 win over Akron in the NCAA Tournament's South Region at The Palace on Thursday night.
Rob Brandenberg chipped in 14 points for fifth-seeded VCU (27-8), which moved on to play fourth-seeded Michigan for a Sweet Sixteen berth on Saturday. The Wolverines advanced with a 71-56 victory over South Dakota State earlier in the evening.
The margin of victory was the largest in VCU's postseason history.
Demetrius Treadwell's 14 points paced 12th-seeded Akron (26-7), the Mid-American Conference champion. The Zips' starting point guard, Alex Abreu, was suspended earlier in the month after being arrested on drug charges. Without him, Akron folded under the Rams' full-court pressure and committed 21 turnovers.
"It was just a tough draw for us and they're too good," Zips coach Keith Dambrot said. "We used so much energy trying to get the ball up the court, we couldn't guard them. It was just a miserable experience. They exploited our weakness better than anybody in the country could."
VCU shot 61.1 percent in the first half, using a mix of turnovers and half court execution.
"When we're making shots, it's easier to set up our full court pressure," Brandenberg said. "We definitely felt we could use (Abreu's absence) to our advantage and really get after them in the press. I think we did a good job of trying to exploit that."
Reddic and Daniels combined for 30 first-half points as VCU roared to a 50-25 lead at the break.
The Rams led the nation in turnovers forced at 19.9 per game and wasted no time disrupting the Zips' offensive flow. They forced five turnovers in the first 10 minutes and raced to a 30-13 lead.
Reddic sparked a 26-7 run by making a layup and two dunks early in the outburst. Daniels had eight points in that span, including two 3-pointers.
VCU's lead never dropped below double digits, and when Reddic made a fast-break layup, they were up 19 at 41-22. Reddic also made a layup just before the halftime buzzer.
NOTES: Reddic, a junior, became the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 points. He needed 12 entering the game. ... VCU has only been seeded higher in the tournament once, when it had the No. 2 seed in the West Region in 1985. ... The Rams improved to 7-0 all-time against Akron. ... The Zips, who have never won an NCAA Tournament game, made their third appearance in five seasons. They lost to Gonzaga 77-64 in their opener in 2009 and to Notre Dame 69-56 in 2011.