RAMS TO FACE VIRGINIA TECH IN 2013 AS PART OF GOVENOR’S HOLIDAY HOOPS CLASSIC

RICHMOND, Va. – Over the past 10 seasons, the VCU men's basketball program have the most wins (231), most NCAA Tournament appearances (4), most NCAA Tournament victories (6) and most conference championships (3) among universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Black & Gold will now get a chance to back up all their numbers on the court. VCU is one of eight schools who will participate in the Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic in 2012 and 2013 at the Richmond Coliseum, announced by Governor Bob McDonnell on Wednesday.

 "Virginia has long been home to some of the nation's premier collegiate basketball programs," Governor McDonnell said. "Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls. Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The "Classic" will change that."

The Rams will battle Virginia Tech in 2013, the first meeting between the two schools since 1995. The former Metro Conference rivals have split their head-to-head series at 10-10 with VCU winning the last meeting, 62-57.

"We're very appreciative of the opportunity to compete in the Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "It will be a terrific showcase of the high-level basketball programs that call Virginia home."

Smart and his staff have guided the Rams to a school-record 55 wins over the past two seasons, including the historic run to the Final Four this past March.

"VCU captured the hearts of basketball fans around the country with their historic run from a play-in game to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament," Governor McDonnell noted. "I look forward to seeing Coach Smart lead the next generation of Rams in the 2013 Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic."

Details regarding tickets and exact game times will be released in the spring of 2012 and 2013 for each year's "Classic." Corporations and individuals interested in sponsorship opportunities can email: GovernorsClassic@governor.virginia.gov for additional information.

Virginians can visit http://www.governor.virginia.gov/hoops-classic, to sign up for updates in the months ahead regarding the "Classic."

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