Rhode Island basketball is joining forces with Buffalo in support of hurricane relief efforts. URI will host the Bulls for a fundraising exhibition next Saturday.
As word of hurricane relief exhibition games spread throughout college basketball, many fans wondered if Rhody would get in on the act. Well, wonder no longer. The Rams will host the Buffalo Bulls next Saturday to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The charity game is set to tip off at 1:00 p.m.
The Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations have had their hands full lately as hurricanes have ravaged the Houston area, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. So the NCAA is (finally?) doing something smart and allowing these games to take place. A quick Google or Twitter search shows that dozens of other schools are lining up fundraising exhibitions.
As for Buffalo, that makes sense as well. The Bulls are coming off a 17-15 (11-7) season a year ago, and they’ve established themselves as a consistent thread in the MAC. Prior to last year, Buffalo danced in back-to-back years — their first two NCAA Tournament trips in school history.
Dan Hurley’s brother Bobby coached the first of those two tourney appearances before departing for Arizona State. And Nate Oats, the Bulls current coach, captained the other. If you recognize Oats name, you should. He coached E.C. Matthews in high school before becoming an assistant under Bobby in upstate New York. With all of these tie-ins, it’s almost shocking that Rhody and Buffalo haven’t met sooner.
Admission to Saturday’s game is free, although URI is suggesting a $10 donation for the public and $5 from students. If you can’t attend but would still like to give, please click here.