It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s schedule… especially with the core of young players that Rhode Island already has in tow. And based on a tweet from College Chalktalk’s Chris DiSano, the Rams will be playing in a high profile tournament next season. DiSano reports that Rhody will be one of eight teams playing in the 2014 Old Spice Classic, which is played at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The tourney is presented by ESPN (not surprising, considering Disney is their parent company), which means the coverage on their family of networks is extensive.
But wait – it gets better. Here’s a list of the other seven teams in the 2014 field:
Michigan State Spartans
Marquette Golden Eagles
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Santa Clara Broncos
In a word: STACKED.
URI is added into the mix as a semi-late addition, replacing the Xavier Musketeers. X was announced as a participant way back when they were still members of the A-10. But now that they’ve joined the Big East, the field would have two BE teams (Marquette being the other) in the fold. The NCAA generally doesn’t like to put two teams from the same conference in the same in-season tournament, so the door was opened for Rhode Island.
Each team is guaranteed at least three games in the tourney, which usually takes place at the end of November. The Memphis Tigers won this year’s Old Spice Classic, besting Oklahoma State 73-68. It’s a little confusing, but check out this year’s bracket here.
Match-ups for the 2014 tourney have yet to be announced, but based on that field, the Rams are going to get some quality opponents on the schedule next season. They’re also undoubtedly going to have some “measuring stick” games come late November. It may be a while before the first-round pairings are announced, but we’ll be sure to pass along any updates as they become available.