Channel Surfers: All men’s basketball games televised

Paris Carter
Contributing Writer

Senior guard Briante Weber was named to the 2014-15 A-10 preseason all-defensive squad. CT File Photo.

As if that feat weren’t already respectable, 24 of those scheduled games will be available to a national audience. The schedule includes 12 appearances on the ESPN family of networks, nine on CBS Sports Network, and three more on the NBC Sports Network.

Since the magical run in 2011 that landed Virginia Commonwealth University in the Final Four, exposure for the program has reached all-time highs seemingly every year. The 2014-15 campaign will be no different. For the second consecutive year, every game the Rams are scheduled to play this season will be televised.

Additionally, the remaining seven games will be broadcast locally as a result of a partnership with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (CSN), MASN and CBS 6. CSN will broadcast three games, while MASN and CBS will both broadcast two games apiece.

VCU director of athletics Ed McLaughlin spoke about the move and how it helps VCU’s continued exposure.

“We are extremely excited about these relationships with our local media partners which will allow us to once again broadcast all 31 of our regular season games this year,” McLaughlin said.

VCU is one of three non-Bowl Championship series (BCS) teams in the country to have every game televised live for the second-straight year.

With the spoils of playing on a national stage regularly comes the challenge of facing off against some of the stiffest competition in the nation. From day one, the Rams jump right into the fire starting off with a neutral-site matchup against University of Tennessee as part of the inaugural Veteran’s Day Classic in Annapolis, Maryland on Nov. 14.

As the season continues, some of VCU’s key matchups will see the national spotlight in the first half of the season. Among other big non-conference games scheduled are meetings with University of Villanova and the winner of a game between University of Michigan and University of Oregon in the Legend’s Classic at the Barclays Center Nov. 24-25. Not long after, the Rams play in what is sure to be the most anticipated game of the season when the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champions University of Virginia come to Richmond on Dec. 6 to try to avenge last year’s three-point game-winning dagger by senior forward/guard Treveon Graham.

On Dec. 13, VCU seeks vengeance of their own when they take on University of Northern Iowa, who pulled off a surprising upset of the Rams a year ago. That game is directly followed with a meeting against a stingy Belmont University team who often plays its way into March. VCU rounds out the month of December traveling to University of Cincinnati to play the Bearcats on Dec. 20, East Tennessee State University on Dec. 22 and Cleveland State University on Dec. 29.

The road doesn’t get any easier when Atlantic 10 play begins. Only the Big 12 earned more bids than the A-10 last year, as the conference provides a deep pool of talented teams. By the time the regular season is over, VCU will have played 10 of the 68 teams that were invited to the NCAA tournament last year. A schedule like that will prove to be quite the measuring stick for an up-and-coming program looking to be recognized as one of the nation’s finest.

“As our program continues to gain national influence we will continue to work with our local, regional, and national television partners to provide maximum exposure for our program,” McLaughlin said.

The televised exposure can only mean one thing for the Rams: they are must-see TV indeed.

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