Top state hoops teams to square off in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Some of the state's top college teams will bring their talents to the capital city to participate in the Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic in 2012 and 2013.

Gov. Bob McDonnell says the event will consist of a doubleheader each year at the Richmond Coliseum matching programs that don't typically played each other.

The 2012 event will begin with a game between former Colonial Athletic Association rivals George Mason and Richmond, which left the CAA to join the Atlantic 10 for the 2001 season. The nightcap will have Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference meeting the CAA's Old Dominion.

In 2013, Hampton of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference will play James Madison of the CAA and Virginia Tech, the state's other ACC school, will meet Virginia Commonwealth of the CAA.

The "Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic" Matchups
December 2012
George Mason vs. University of Richmond (early game)
The University of Virginia vs. Old Dominion University (late game)

December 2013
Hampton University vs. James Madison University (early game)
Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Commonwealth University (late game)

Speaking about the "Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic" Governor McDonnell remarked, "Virginia has long been home to some of the nation's premier collegiate basketball programs. Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls.

Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The "Classic" will change that.  In December 2012 and 2013 the Richmond Coliseum will be the site of what are certain to be exciting games which will allow Virginians to celebrate our great colleges and universities while supporting a great cause, the Commonwealth's Food Banks.

I hope the Classic will become a long-lasting Virginia athletic tradition. And, as a father who has had children attend UVa, Virginia Tech, ODU, JMU and VCU, I'm definitely staying neutral in this one!"