Monday, August 12, 2013

VCU Releases Nonconference Schedule

Arguably one of college basketball's greatest fan experiences, VCU (and their world-famous pep band) takes its show on the road to Puerto Rico and Brooklyn among highlights of 15-game nonconference schedule. (Photo courtesy of the New York Times)

Virginia Commonwealth University fans have a chant they go to several times during games that says the following:

"You don't want to go to war with the Rams...don't start no stuff, won't be no stuff."

However, there will be fifteen teams going to war with VCU before the start of Atlantic 10 play, starting with Illinois State, who comes to the Siegel Center on November 8th. The game against Dan Muller and the Redbirds will be the second straight VCU home opener against a team from the Missouri Valley Conference, as the Rams christened their home portion of the schedule last year against eventual Final Four participant Wichita State, who narrowly escaped Richmond with a hard-earned road victory. Four days later, VCU makes its first road trip of the year, this one to Charlottesville for the first of four games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents when they meet Virginia, who advanced to the quarterfinals of last year's National Invitation Tournament before being defeated by Iowa. A home game against Winthrop on November 16th precedes a stay in San Juan, where the Rams will participate in this year's Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

VCU's first game in Puerto Rico takes place against Florida State on November 21st, with two games on the 22nd and 24th against opponents to be determined from a field that includes Michigan, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Northeastern, Charlotte and Georgetown. There is a possibility that VCU could play Northeastern twice, as Bill Coen and the Huskies will be coming to Richmond on November 29th no matter what, just two days before the Rams go to Nashville to take on mid-major powerhouse Belmont in one of the more underrated nonconference matchups in the nation this season.

Home games against Eastern Kentucky on December 5th and December 8th versus in-state rival Old Dominion will serve as precursors to the Rams' next road trip, a December 14th journey to Northern Iowa to take on Ben Jacobson and the Panthers, who will undoubtedly be in the mix for a Missouri Valley championship yet again. Three days later, VCU will return home to host Wofford before entertaining Virginia Tech inside the Richmond Coliseum on December 21st for a neutral site matchup that will be a de facto home game for Ram Nation, who used their homecourt advantage at the Coliseum to win several Colonial Athletic Association championships before their move to the Atlantic 10.

VCU plays two other nonconference games, the first of which marks their return to the Barclays Center; an arena that Ram fans turned into their own during last March's Atlantic 10 Tournament, when they serve as the main event of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival by taking on Boston College. The Rams' final nonconference game is their 2014 opener, a January 3rd home game against Steve Pikiell and Stony Brook University.

2013-14 Virginia Commonwealth University Nonconference Schedule (all times TBA)
Friday, November 8th: vs. Illinois State
Tuesday, November 12th: at Virginia
Saturday, November 16th: vs. Winthrop
Thursday, November 21st: vs. Florida State in Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Friday, November 22nd: TBD in Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Sunday, November 24th: TBD in Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Friday, November 29th: vs. Northeastern
Sunday, December 1st: at Belmont
Thursday, December 5th: vs. Eastern Kentucky
Sunday, December 8th: vs. Old Dominion
Saturday, December 14th: at Northern Iowa
Tuesday, December 17th: vs. Wofford
Saturday, December 21st: vs. Virginia Tech at Richmond Coliseum
Saturday, December 28th: vs. Boston College at Barclays Center (Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival)
Friday, January 3rd: vs. Stony Brook

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