RICHMOND, Va. – Winners of nine straight, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball program is quickly gaining the attention of college basketball fans across the country.
The Rams will get a shot of gaining even more attention after ESPNU announced that VCU will travel to Wichita State out of the Missouri Valley Conference in its annual BracketBusters contest.
The game will be a primetime Friday night game with tip time set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
"It's a great opportunity to play a high-quality opponent from a great league," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "The fact that it's a Friday night game on ESPN2 is an added bonus. We're definitely looking forward to it."
It will be only the second meeting ever between the two schools with the other coming on Dec. 28, 1996 when VCU dropped a road contest to the Shockers, 80-50.
The Shockers are currently 18-4 on the year and 9-2 in conference play, good for a tie atop the Missouri Valley standings. Senior J.T. Durley and junior David Kyles lead the way, both averaging over 11 points a contest.
In the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA, VCU was 51st while Wichita State sat just above them at 49th.
It's the second time in the past five seasons that the Black & Gold have been paired with the MVC, the other coming in 2006-07 when VCU took on Bradley at home. That's also the last time the Rams compiled at least a nine-game winning streak and also the year VCU took down Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the game being on ESPN2, VCU will now be on the ESPN family of networks no fewer than six times in 2010-11, the record is seven in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
The Black & Gold are one of five teams from the Colonial Athletic Association that will be in televised BracketBusters contests. Drexel, Old Dominion, George Mason and Hofstra will all be shown across the country.