College basketball fans from around the country will see a lot more of the VCU men’s basketball team and its “Havoc” style of play in 2013.
The Rams will appear on national TV 21 times this season, according to the schedule released on Sept. 4. Fourteen of the nationally televised games will be played against Atlantic 10 opponents.
The nonconference portion of the schedule is highlighted by four games against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the strongest basketball conferences in the country.
The first matchup against an ACC opponent is Nov. 12 at the University of Virginia. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1998. U.Va. has dominated previous meetings, winning 10 of 11 games over the Rams. The first game of a home-and-home series with the Cavaliers will be televised on ESPN 2.
A Nov. 21 matchup against Terrance Shannon’s former team, the Florida State Seminoles, will open the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off on ESPNU. If the Rams manage to get past FSU, a potential NCAA tournament rematch against Michigan awaits in the semifinals.
Other potential opponents in the tournament include Georgetown, Kansas State, Northeastern, Long Beach State and former A-10 member Charlotte.
VCU’s final two matchups against ACC schools will be played at neutral sites. The Rams take on Virginia Tech on Dec. 21 on NBC Sports Network in the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic at the Richmond Coliseum before facing Boston College exactly one week later in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter festival at the Barclays center in New York.
A-10 play kicks off for the Rams with a Jan. 9 contest against former CAA opponent George Mason, and continues with matchups against George Washington, Duquesne and Dayton on Jan. 14, Jan. 18 and Jan. 22 respectively. VCU’s first four inter-conference contests will all be viewable on CBS Sports Network.
Next, the Rams will travel to Philadelphia on Jan. 25 to take on 2013 Sweet Sixteen participant LaSalle on ESPN2 before playing three straight games at home against Fordham, Richmond and Rhode Island.
VCU will have two opportunities to seek revenge against conference rival Saint Louis, who they lost to twice last year, including a defeat in the A-10 championship game. The Rams play at Saint Louis on Feb. 15 and host the Billikens on March 1 in what will likely be the biggest game of the year at Siegel. ESPN’s family of networks is broadcasting both contests.
The Rams’ nonconference portion of the schedule will have significant value as they contend for an NCAA tournament berth in 2013-14. The departure of Butler, Charlotte, Temple and Xavier from the A-10 means that VCU’s strength of schedule will likely weaken considerably.