BlogRhode Island

Rhode Island vs. Nevada is a great home-and-home series — here’s why

It was announced on Thursday that Nevada and Rhode Island would begin a home-and-home series. The 2017 game will be played in Reno on 11/13, while the return game will be in Kingston in 2018. Both teams struck gold with this series, and it’s going to be incredibly entertaining to watch both times around.

When it comes to scheduling, Danny Hurley did a great job getting this one on the slate. Nevada ranked 54th overall in Kenpom last season, and its RPI rank was 29th; that edged out every A-10 team last season except for VCU (19) and Dayton (28). Despite this, the Wolf Pack didn’t beat a Kenpom team ranked better than 75th. Nevada would go on to lose to Iowa St. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Nevada loses star forward Cameron Oliver to the pros, and Marcus Marshall is gone as well, but the Wolf Pack brings back rising talent Jordan Caroline and Lindsey Drew and brings in a number of transfers including sharpshooter Kendall Stephens from Purdue. Nevada should be the favorite to win the MWC, and the Wolf Pack represent a huge opportunity for Rhode Island: a chance to beat a probable NCAA Tournament team on the road.

If you’re the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, and you’re looking for a strong resume, a win at Nevada would more than likely stand out as a “quality win.” This is a great move by Dan Hurley. The Rams will have a great shot at winning this year, and even when they lose a lot of talented seniors next season, they’ll get to host the Wolf Pack in the Ryan Center. I’m happy to see the A-10 spread its wings and get a game against a team on the west coast. The MWC is an untapped market that offers quite a few quality opportunities. This is one of them, and it will make for two great basketball contests in the next two seasons.