A-10 non-conference tournament matchups released

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Dan Hurley and his Rhode Island Rams will get a shot at Kansas in

Dan Hurley and his Rhode Island Rams will get a shot at Kansas in this year’s Orlando Classic.

A slew of non-conference tournaments revealed their brackets Wednesday and they include a number of Atlantic 10 teams looking to score some big OOC wins for next year’s league RPI.

UMass (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off): The Minutemen will look to pickup some nice non-conference wins this November in the Mohegan Sun starting Saturday the 22nd. UMass will take on Notre Dame at noon on ESPN3 then follow that up with another noon tip the following day against Florida State on ESPNU.

VCU (Legends Classic): The likel A-10 preseason No.1 will face the likely Big East preseason No.1 when VCU and Villanova meet in the Legends Classic marquee opening round game, a 7PM Nov 24 tip on ESPN2. VCU will then take on either Michigan or Oregon the following day on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Rams also scored a nice preliminary round home game against a very underrated Toledo squad that will be expected to win the MAC conference after going 27-7 this past season. That game will air Nov 18 at 6PM on ESPNU.

GW (Diamond Head Classic): Colonial fans looking to spend their holidays with the team they loved in a tropical local got their wish this year as Mike Lonergan and Co. head to Honolulu to look to bring home a non-conference tournament trophy back to the A-10. GW will open the event with a 2:30PM, Dec 22 tip on ESPNU against the Ohio Bobcats. From there things get weird but the best possible path for RPI purposes is likely through Colorado (who plays DePaul) then hopefully a win over Wichita State in the championship game. Regardless, nearly every path includes an ESPN appearances during the Christmas holiday.

Rhode Island (Orlando Classic): Dan Hurley will get a chance to show just how far his Rams have come with an opening-round Orlando Classic game against the big bad Kansas Jayhawks on Turkey Day, Thursday Nov 27 at 2PM on ESPN2 (who needs football?). From there they will either face Tennessee or Santa Clara but will hope to somehow Ram their way through to a potential championship meeting with Michigan State. Even a slow start to the tournament with an L against Kansas could provide other solid RPI opportunities, as the bottom half of the bracket will most likely send either Marquette or Georgia Tech to the 5th-place game.

Dayton & George Mason (Puerto Rico Tip-Off): The A-10 is doubling down in Puerto Rico as both the Flyers and Patriots will look for a title in old San Juan. George Mason will kick off the night of A-10 hoops with a 7:30PM tip on Nov. 20 against West Virginia. That game will immediately be followed by the Flyers and the Aggies of Texas A&M. A Flyer win would likely draw the defending national champs, UConn, while George Mason will face either New Mexico or Boston College.

 

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Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

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