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VCU to play Illinois in the 2016-17 non-conference season

It was announced on Tuesday that Illinois and VCU would face off in a neutral site game during the 2016-17 non-conference season. CBS Sports reported that VCU and Illinois will play at American Airlines Arena in Miami, home of the Miami Heat. The game will be played on December 3rd and could be a very interesting matchup.

VCU returns a lot of talent next season, most notably in Mo Alie-Cox and JeQuan Lewis. Illinois had a rough campaign in 2015-16 due mostly in part to injuries and issues off the court. Just today it was announced that Kendrick Nunn who had been arrested earlier this season has been dismissed from the program. This is tough news for an Illini team that does not have a lot of scoring options. Big man Mike Thorne Jr. and point guard Tracy Abrams will both be back after sitting out last season due to injury. This seems like a game that VCU could win easily if it shows up to play and doesn’t let Illinois stick around. Regardless, it should be a great game in an arena that’s nowhere close to either of these campuses.