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AllinA10-InsideRICHMOND, Va. – It was 17 years ago, on Jan. 4, 1996 in Williamsburg, that VCU defeated William & Mary 70-47 in the Rams’ first Colonial Athletic Association contest in front of 2,868 brave souls. In the years since, the tales of that night have been retold countless times fawned over by…nobody. Six days later, when the Rams hosted George Mason in the school’s first CAA home game, 2,911 enthusiastically “packed” the Richmond Coliseum.

It’s different this time around for VCU.

On Jan. 9, VCU will host Dayton in the first Atlantic 10 Conference game in school history. It’s a game against one of the league’s better teams, but in reality, it’s more than just one game. It’s an event. It signifies a new direction for the VCU Basketball program. When was the last time a conference-opener meant so much to so many VCU people? Maybe the Rams’ first Sun Belt game in 1979, but I doubt it.



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In light of VCU’s recent departure to the Atlantic 10 (15), here’s a quick comparison of men’s basketball RPIs from the 2011-12 season. I know that college basketball goes in cycles and that the A10 might not always be as good as it was last year, while the CAA would (theoretically) be better than it was last year. But this information plays a huge role in VCU’s decision. The A10 had eight (EIGHT!) top 100 teams last year. The Pac-12 and ACC each had six top 100 teams last year. While the league is losing Temple (and Charlotte) after next season, picking up VCU and Butler is plenty reason to believe there will be little drop-off.

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