As most Rhody fans know, the Rhode Island Rams have not beat a ranked opponent since they topped the #25 Utah Utes 70-63 on December 2nd, 1998. The game was played as a part of the Great Eight Classic at the United Center in Chicago. It was Jim Harrick versus Rick Majerus. The Rams had Lamar Odom. The Utes had Andre Miller. It was a looooooooooong time ago, and Rhody fans have longed for another win against a ranked opponent ever since.
And it won’t come tomorrow. No, not because URI has no chance of winning. But because Rhody’s opponent, VCU, is no longer ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. And thanks to two losses this week, Virginia Commonwealth received just four votes in the latest poll, which was released yesterday. VCU has dropped a pair of games in the past week; a tough 76-74 overtime loss to Richmond on Thursday followed by a 69-61 to La Salle on Saturday. The other other Rams (?) are reeling, and as a result, Rhody won’t get a crack at a nationally ranked team tomorrow.
Which is too bad for several reasons. The game is at home and the crowd should be pretty fired up, based on the opponent and the recent marketing promotions from the URI Athletic Department. Rhody will get at least one more crack at a ranked team on Saturday when they take on Butler, who is currently slotted at #9 in the latest AP poll.