David Cox and the University of Rhode Island Men’s Basketball team now have a much better idea of their non-conference schedule Friday after the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made an announcement about the upcoming Tip-Off Tournament.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced a revised field and schedule for the 2020 Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament set to be held at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thanksgiving weekend.
The Rams will now play a pair of American Athletic Conference teams in South Florida and Temple on Nov. 28 and 29, respectively. The Rams were previously set to play Marquette and the winner of UCF vs. Minnesota in a tournament format, but all three teams withdrew from the tournament due to virus concerns and scheduling conflicts. Virginia Tech has also joined the Tip-Off Tournament, with the format being a showcase with USF and Temple both belonging in the American Athletic Conference.
The Rams last played at Mohegan Sun in 2018 when they defeated West Virginia 83-70 in the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase.
USF finished the 2019-20 season with a 14-17 record overall with a 7-11 record in conference play. Temple finished last season with a 14-17 record overall with a 6-12 record in conference play. The Owls posted key wins against USC, Davidson and a ranked Wichita State last season.
Coach Cox was pleased with the work that officials at the Basketball Hall of Fame put in to make sure that this year’s tournament could occur.
“A great deal of creativity and hard work has been put into these opportunities,” Cox said via GoRhody.com. “The officials from the Basketball Hall of Fame and each of the schools involved deserve credit for working together in such a productive manner despite the unprecedented challenges we are all facing.”
Prior to the Tip-Off Tournament, the Rams will open up the season against Southland Conference regular-season champions Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 25 followed by a matchup against Towson on Nov. 26. These games will also be played at Mohegan Sun as part of a larger event called “Bubbleville.” The “Bubbleville” is designed to eliminate travel and keep COVID-19 concerns low.
SFA finished the 2019-20 season with a 28-3 record overall, including a 15-game winning stretch prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down their season. The Lumberjacks most notable win last season came when they beat Duke at the buzzer on the road. Towson finished the 2019-20 season 19-13 record overall with a 12-6 record in CAA play.
The two additional games to their schedule brings the team’s total to seven non-conference games this season. The team is still looking to add one more home game, if a date can be agreed upon.