COVID-19 alters VCU and Richmond hoops schedules

COVID-19 alters VCU and Richmond hoops schedules
Bones Hyland and VCU will open their season at the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Source: VCU Athletics)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - What a difference 12 hours can make. VCU and Richmond both woke up on Monday morning with plans in place for multi-team events this week, but when they went to bed, the entire plan was different.

A source close to the VCU program confirmed that the Rams will now take part in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. An official announcement is expected on Tuesday. The black and gold will take on Utah State on Wednesday night at 9:30 PM ET to open up the campaign and play three games in three days at the Sanford Pentagon.

Thanksgiving will see VCU face either West Virginia or South Dakota State. Memphis, Saint Mary’s, Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky are also part of the Crossover Classic field.

A spot in the event opened up in for the Rams after multiple positive COVID-19 cases in Wichita State’s program. The Shockers had already arrived in Sioux Falls, but initial testing turned up the positives and forced them to withdraw.

Mike Rhoades and his squad were looking for games after the Volunteer Classic in Knoxville was cancelled on Monday afternoon. Multiple positive tests emerged in Tennessee’s program, including head coach Rick Barnes. VCU was originally scheduled to begin the season against Charlotte and the Volunteers.

To date, the Rams have only had one positive test in their program, which occurred in July.

Meanwhile, Richmond’s scheduled opener against Detroit Mercy in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Showcase has been cancelled, after a positive test within the Detroit program. The Spiders will still travel to Lexington, but will instead open their campaign on Friday at 6:00 PM against Morehead State. The event will not add a team to replace Detroit-Mercy.

Richmond will still get its marquee match-up against Kentucky, as the Spiders and tenth-ranked Wildcats are slated to tip off on Sunday at 1:00 PM.

As of Monday night, 19 games involving Division I teams had been either postponed or cancelled.

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