Aug 31, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
Last year, Rick Byrd put together a schedule that gave Belmont some tough tests. According to the Nashville Tennesseean, the Bruins played the No. 2 strength of schedule – traveling to Stanford, VCU and Kansas – and ended up with a top-25 RPI in 2012-13.
Pretty impressive, but this year’s slate might be even more brutal.
Belmont, long considered to be one of the gutsiest low-major squads in the nation, will travel to Chapel Hill to battle the Tar Heels on November 17th. Then they’ll hit Rupp Arena to take on John Calipari’s loaded Wildcats on December 21st. They’re opening the season with a “road trip” to play crosstown rival and former conference foe Lipscomb and will travel to Richmond early on as well.
The Bruins get a rest of sorts when they play VCU, simply because they somehow convinced Shaka Smart to give them a return date in Nashville, so they’ll get a raucous home crowd to egg them on in the face of Havoc.
Playing in the OVC, Byrd doesn’t have much hope of gaining an at-large bid, even if his squad comes in second to fellow giant-slayer Murray State. He knows this, so these early-season tests will not only earn his program a tidy pair of paychecks, but maybe they’ll prepare the Bruins to win the OVC auto-bid again and a chance for a program-defining March win or two.
- EYBL Day 1: Jayson Tatum vs. Michael Porter Jr.; De’Aaron Fox, Jarred Vanderbilt go for big outings 0
- 2015 College Basketball Updated Early Entry List 14
- Providence announces return of point guard Kris Dunn for 2015-16 season 0
- Five-star guard Malik Newman commits to Mississippi State 0
- UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings 0
- Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield returning for senior season 0
- Arizona forward Stanley Johnson enters 2015 NBA Draft 3
- Duke lands commitment from elite PG Derryck Thornton, who will reclass (18)
- 2015 College Basketball Updated Early Entry List (14)
- Five-star Kentucky commit believes the NCAA will clear him to play (10)
- Five members of Iowa State’s 2014-15 team have been arrested after two more arrests this week (9)
- UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too Early Preseason Top 25 (9)