It took until the week of Christmas, but the recent run of scheduling luck enjoyed by the VCU Rams has run out.
Reports came out on Saturday night that VCU’s road game against LSU was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the LSU program. The game was scheduled to be the second half of a home-and-home deal triggered by a clause in former VCU head coach Will Wade’s contract. Wade left VCU for LSU in 2017.
VCU confirmed the news on Sunday morning, while also announcing a replacement game. Rather than go on the road on Tuesday night, the Rams will host the James Madison University Dukes at 4 p.m.
In the tweet announcing the game, VCU said that the LSU game had been “canceled.” It is unknown if the game will be rescheduled for the 2021-22 season. LSU would be on the hook for a $50,000 fee should the game ultimately not be played.
The game will be the fifth consecutive home game played by the Rams. During the homestand, VCU has won by an average of 25.5 points.
The game represents the renewal of an old intrastate rivalry. JMU and VCU were both members of the Colonial Athletic Association from 1995 until 2012 and have faced off 65 times. The Rams hold a 44-21 series lead over the Dukes.
VCU last played JMU on Jan 12, 2012. VCU won by 20 at home, spearheaded by an 18-point performance by Treveon Graham. Graham, one of two former VCU players currently in the NBA, was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
James Madison University enters Tuesday’s matchup in a similar position as the Rams. The Dukes were originally scheduled to travel to Gainesville to play the University of Florida. However, that game was postponed by Florida after star forward Keyontae Johnson collapsed during a game on Dec. 12. Florida would complete the game against Florida State, but have not played since then. Johnson is recovering in a University of Florida hospital and released an update video Friday.
JMU will enter the Siegel Center with a 3-2 record after defeating NAIA Alice Lloyd College on Sunday night. VCU will look to improve upon its 6-2 record, coming off a Tuesday night win against Western Carolina University. Tuesday’s game is the last scheduled non-conference matchup for both teams.