Recount their upsets, harrowing finishes and, yes, miracles.
None matches VCU. Virginia Commonwealth University for the basketball-impaired.
The Rams on Sunday advanced to the Final Four by conquering Kansas 71-61 in the NCAA tournament's Southwest Regional championship game at the Alamodome.
They are the most improbable national semifinalist ever. Yes, ever.
"What can you say?" VCU forward Ed Nixon said. "It's amazing."
First, consider the Rams' regular season. They finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association, a league that while unappreciated, is not the Big East, Big Ten or Big 12.
Fourth! The CAA's first Final Four squad, George Mason in 2006, shared first place that year.
Now ponder VCU's path. Courtesy of an expanded bracket, the Rams are the first team that needed five victories to reach the Final Four.
Five Ws in 12 days. VCU had won five NCAA tournament games in the previous 30 years.
"I thought we had a chance to make some noise," Rams guard Bradford Burgess said of his team's tournament prospects.
Noise? Sure, why not?
VCU had beaten UCLA, Old Dominion, George Mason and Wichita State, quality opponents all. And the Rams absolutely belonged in the field, the bleating of Dick Vitale and Co., notwithstanding.
But the Rams, the Southwest's No. 11 seed, haven't made "some noise." They've broken the sound barrier.
Since March 16, VCU has dispatched Southern California by 13 points, Georgetown by 18, Purdue by 18, Florida State by one and Kansas by 10. Those victims hail from five of the six major conferences: Pacific 10, Big East, Big Ten, ACC and Big 12.
Most impressive: Check out those margins. No double-digit seed in tournament history had won more than two games by as much.
"We made history here," said Shaka Smart, VCU's 33-year-old coach, "winning five games, going to the Final Four, and as I said (to fans) out there on the floor, 'We're not done yet.' "
For a moment Sunday, Smart's Rams (28-11) appeared done. Top-seeded Kansas (35-3) had slashed an 18-point deficit to two, and Smart had blown a gasket protesting a call, earning a technical foul.
"He apologized to us, and we just regrouped," Burgess said. "We're an experienced group. We've been through a lot. We've seen it all."
Uh, the Rams had never seen this. They'd never been on the ropes with a heavyweight opponent landing haymakers and a hostile crowd roaring for more.
But VCU countered. Forward Jamie Skeen (game-high 26 points) made two free throws, his fourth 3-pointer and a layup. Point guard Joey Rodriguez and Burgess made 3s, the latter goosing the margin to 63-54 with 3:50 remaining.
The Rams made 12-of-25 from beyond the arc, the Jayhawks 2-of-21.
"I take all the credit for that, to tell you the truth," Rodriguez said. "I think we wore them out. … If you go back and watch the game, I think every time they shot the ball mostly somebody had a hand in their face. Our wings did a great job of contesting shots and running their shooters off of things."
"That game was all about style of play," Smart said. "We got the style going the way that we wanted in the first half. And if you watch closely, their players were tugging on their shorts for much of the game. When you don't have your legs, it's hard to make outside shots.
"That's why we play the way we play. That's part of our havoc style, getting people winded, getting people fatigued. And because of that they missed some shots."
If that sounds bold and borderline arrogant, get used to it. Us-against-the-world is how these Rams roll.
In fact, before tipoff Sunday, Smart showed his team clips of talking heads picking Kansas.
"I'll be shocked, shocked, shocked if Kansas doesn't win!" Burgess said, breaking into his best Vitale voice.
Here's when you know it's your day: when a 25-percent free-throw shooter swishes two from the line.
That's what happened in the first half when VCU's Toby Veal, 4-of-16 on the season, went 2-for-2, drawing outright laughter on the Rams' bench.
"He looked like Steve Kerr," Smart said, referencing one of the game's great shooters and CBS' analyst Sunday.
As the horn sounded, the Rams sprinted across the court to their fans. Athletic director Norwood Teague wept in the arms of VCU broadcaster Mike Ellis, and the band sang "Happy Birthday" to guard Brandon Rozzell, who made four 3-pointers.
How long might Rozzell remember this 22nd birthday?
"Forever and ever and ever," he said.
VCU chartered home to Richmond on Sunday and was due to arrive around midnight. Up next, the Final Four in Houston and a Saturday semifinal against Butler, last season's tournament runner-up.
"It can get even better," Rozzell said.
"We're a bunch of guys who believe in each other," Rodriguez said, "and we don't want it to end."
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime, and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP.