RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Since both Richmond and VCU reached the NCAA Tournament and made a splash in 2011, the Rams have remained a perennial contender while the Spiders have not been back to the tournament. Six years after Richmond made the Sweet 16 and VCU reached the Final Four, the teams are have the best season collectively since 2011. Wednesday night, they will meet for the first of two and possibly three match ups of the season.
Along with Dayton, VCU and Richmond are tied atop the Atlantic Ten. All three teams are 6-2 in conference. Richmond last won at VCU in 2015, in Briante Weber’s final college game. The Spiders swept the Rams in the regular season that year, but VCU got the best of Richmond in the Atlantic Ten Tournament in Brooklyn. The Rams won the tournament and moved on to the NCAA Tournament while the Spiders settled for the NIT.
In 2016, Will Wade and the Rams swept the Spiders in Wade’s first year back at VCU.
In 2017, the Spiders feature Atlantic 10 Player of the Year front runner T.J. Cline and a couple of talented freshmen. VCU has more of a veteran team. Both coaches say the game will come down to physicality and rebounding, a place where VCU had a decided edge in 2016.
The first of two VCU-Richmond games takes place Wednesday night at 8:00 PM at VCU’s Siegel Center.