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Richmond men’s basketball announces 2015-16 schedule

ur-spiders1Richmond men’s basketball released its 2015-16 schedule on Thursday. Highlighted by a trip to Las Vegas for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, the Spiders will play potentially five BCS opponents and will have at least 12 games against postseason teams from last season, as 12 opponents finished in the top 100 of last year’s NCAA RPI.

UR will play 16 home games at the Robins Center, a place where the Spiders compiled a school-record win total of 16-4 last season and the program ranked in the top 100 in the country in home attendance.

Richmond’s schedule currently has 14 nationally televised games on the ESPN family of networks, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) and American Sports Network (ASN).

“We have an excellent schedule this season with several great road trips, marquee home games and a tremendous opportunity to build a strong postseason resume,” head coach Chris Mooney said. “Our non-conference schedule will challenge us, as we play a number of postseason teams from last year and travel to some great basketball environments. Once again, the Atlantic 10 promises to be one of the best college basketball conferences in the country.”

West Virginia, San Diego State, UNI, Dayton, Davidson and VCU all played in the NCAA Tournament and four won their opening games. The Mountaineers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Old Dominion, George Washington and Rhode Island played in the NIT and the Monarchs advanced to the semifinals in New York City.

Richmond opens the season against JMU on Friday, Nov. 13. It will be a celebratory evening as the Spiders showcase the recently-named Dick Tarrant Court, in honor of Hall of Fame Spider head coach Dick Tarrant. UR will travel to Wake Forest for the schools’ 53rd meeting in a nearly every-year series dating back to 1975.

The Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational features nine schools with sets of two games on campus sites, followed by games in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Put on by Fox Sports, the event is one of the top preseason tournaments in the country with past champions including Illinois, UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas.

Richmond hosts Stetson and Bethune-Cookman in the opening rounds of the tournament and will play West Virginia in the semifinal round in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving Day. The Spiders will then play either California or San Diego State the next day.

In December, Richmond will travel to BCS programs Florida (Dec. 1) and Texas Tech (Dec. 29) while hosting UNI (Dec. 5) and Old Dominion (Dec. 16) at the Robins Center. UR’s game against regional rival Old Dominion will be broadcast on ASN at 7 p.m.

Atlantic 10 play begins on Saturday, Jan. 2 when the Spiders host Saint Joseph’s at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. The Spiders then hit the road for a tough, televised road swing at Rhode Island (1/5, ESPNU, 7 p.m.) and Fordham (1/10, NBCSN, 2 p.m.).

The Spiders host rival VCU in the first game of the Bank of America Capital City Classic on Saturday, January 16. That contest will be aired on CBS Sports Network with a time to be determined. The second game of the Bank of America Capital City Classic will be on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., as the Spiders travel down the road to play at VCU on ESPN2. Last season, Richmond won both regular season games against the Rams, including a double-overtime thriller in the Robins Center.

Richmond hosts last year’s regular season-champion Davidson on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. After a road swing at George Washington and St. Bonaventure, UR returns home to face George Mason and UMass in the Robins Center.

After a road game at Saint Louis and home contest against Fordham, Richmond plays at Davidson on Tuesday, Feb. 16 and then at VCU on Friday, Feb. 19.

The final two home games feature George Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 24 (ASN, 7 p.m.) and a home finale against last year’s NCAA Tournament team Dayton onTuesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

The 2016 Atlantic 10 Tournament will be in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. from March 9-13.

Last season, Richmond finished 21-14 and earned a top seed in the NIT, advancing to the quarterfinal round. The Spiders went 2-1 against ranked opponents and posted a strength of schedule rank of 31, according to ESPN RPI. UR finished fourth in the Atlantic 10 with a 12-6 record as the Spiders won nine of their 12 games of the season.

Richmond has won 80 conference games since 2008, more than any team in the Atlantic 10.

Richmond basketball will be adding one more non-conference game to the schedule. That game along with complete times and television information will be released at a later date.