Major changes on the College Basketball landscape this week as Virginia Commonwealth University leaves the Colonial Athletic Association, where the Rams have been long-time members and one of the league’s brightest programs on a national scale. The Rams have already been accepted by the Atlantic 10 and will field teams in 16 of the league’s 21 championship sports, joining their cross-town rivas, the Richmond Spiders in competing for those titles.l
This wasn’t actually a surprise as speculation has been widespread for months about a potential shake-up in the Colonial. ODU is reportedly planning to move on as well, and George Mason has also hinted at being interested in another conference, but the loss of VCU is a huge blow to the Richmond-based CAA. The Rams went to the Final Four just two seasons ago, and just missed out on the Sweet 16 in 2012, and Shaka Smart is one of America’s rising names in college basketball.
With the Colonial Tournament held here in Richmond, the loss of VCU will really sting next postseason. Could be an opportunity for Norfolk State or Hampton University to make a move as rumors have often circulated that both might be interested in leaving the MEAC. Certainly, if Old Dominion were to depart, that would leave a huge hole in that Tidewater market.