Spiders keep non-conference showdown with Kentucky

Spiders keep non-conference showdown with Kentucky
Richmond Spiders Men's Basketball (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The highlight of Richmond’s non-conference schedule, before the NCAA pushed back the start of the season, was a trip to Lexington to face perennial college basketball power Kentucky. Despite the shuffling of schedules, the Spiders will get to keep that game at Rupp Arena.

Though nothing official has been released from Richmond, a source close to the program confirmed that the Spiders will be playing at Kentucky this season. The Lexington Herald Leader reported on Tuesday that the Wildcats will host Richmond, Detroit-Mercy, and Hartford in a multi-day event to begin 2020-2021. Each team would play three games in three or four days.

The Spiders return all five starters from a team that finished 24-7, 14-4 in the Atlantic 10, and are a potential preseason Top 25 squad. They have never faced Kentucky in men’s basketball. The Wildcats are coming off of a 25-6 campaign and have made the NCAA Tournament in 26 of the last 28 years. Their last national championship came in 2012 and they’ve won at least 25 games in each of the last seven seasons.

Richmond put together a 2019-2020 performance that saw it tie the program record for regular-season wins and set a new high-water mark for Atlantic 10 victories. The Spiders beat three Power Five conference opponents, including eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin.

Tuesday also saw an ESPN report that eight early-season tournaments will be held in the Orlando bubble, where the NBA is currently finishing out its schedule. The Charleston Classic, which includes VCU, and the Wooden Legacy, in which UVA will take part, are both included in those eight events. The report says that those eight tournaments will take place during the first two weeks of the season.

The Rams are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 18-13 showing last season in which they finished ninth in the Atlantic-10 after entering the year as preseason favorites. Charleston, Florida State, Houston, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Seton Hall and Tennessee join the black and gold in the Charleston Classic.

Virginia followed up its national championship with a 23-7 campaign, 15-5 in ACC play. The Cavaliers join Georgetown, Kansas and UCLA to make up the Wooden Legacy field.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.