Richmond Times-Dispatch

Cavaliers get new foes in ‘Bubblevill­e’

With Maine facing COVID-19 outbreak, UVAwill face Towson

- BY BENNETT CONLIN

Virginia was scheduled to open its season Wednesday against Maine. That game won’t happen, according to multiple reports, including one from CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. Maine received positive COVID-19 test results, knocking it out of “Bubblevill­e.”

Instead, UVAwill open the season Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. against Towson. The Tigers, who announced the schedule change on Tuesday afternoon, finished 19-13 last season, going 12-6 in the Colonial Athletic Associatio­n.

They’re picked to finish fourth in the CAA this season, and they did receive four first-place votes in the CAA preseason poll.

The Cavaliers also know their scheduled opponent for Friday.

San Francisco men’s basketball shared Monday that it will face Virginia on Friday. The Cavaliers were originally supposed to face Florida on Friday, but the Gators opted not to compete in “Bubblevill­e”

in Connecticu­t due to positive COVID-19 tests within their program.

Instead, the Wahooswill face San Francisco, a team from the West Coast Conference.

The game is slated to tip off at 11:30 a.m. and it will air on ESPN.

The Dons went 22-12 a season ago, earning signature wins against Cal and BYU. They finished with a 9-7 mark in conference play. San Francisco has won 20 games in four consecutiv­e years.

Heading into this season, the Dons were picked by the league’s coaches to finish fifth in the WCC. Senior guard Jamaree Bouyea is the top player for San Francisco. He averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists a season ago.

Barring additional schedule changes, the game against San Francisco will complete Virginia’s time in Bubblevill­e.

The Cavaliers face Towson on Wednesday and San Francisco on Friday before heading to Charlottes­ville for a Tuesday matchup with Saint Francis.

Tony Bennett’s team, which was picked to win the ACC, hopes to complete both neutral site games safely while also learning a bit about its potential rotation. A Dec. 9 showdown with Michigan State looms on the calendar, and the Cavaliers will need to be at their best to take down the Spartans after playing four lesser nonconfere­nce foes.

Also announced Tuesday was that Virginia’s Dec. 9 home game against Michigan State will tip off at 9:15 p.m., the ACC announced. The game will air on ESPN.

The matchup is part of the ACC/Big Ten challenge, and it pins UVA’s SamHauser against his younger brother Joey, who plays at Michigan State. The game also features a coaching battle between Virginia’s Tony Bennett andMichiga­n State’s TomIzzo.

Hokies open season vs. Highlander­s

No fans will be at Cassell Coliseum to see it, but Virginia Tech will open its campaign Wednesday in a noon tipoff against Radford.

The matchup will offer plenty of new faces. The Hokies boast nine newcomers on this year’s roster, while the Highlander­s lost their entire starting five from a team that won 21 games before the coronaviru­s pandemic prematurel­y ended last season.

Tech, which has won two in a row against the Highlander­s, leads the all-time series 8-2, which dates back to 1988.

In the last meeting, Tech won 95-68 in 2017 behind 20 points apiece from Justin Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Tech has fared well in season openers since 2000, owning an 18-2 record its past 20 games. Tech coach Mike Young is 15-3 in home openers, including last year’s 74-42 win over Coppin State on Nov. 8. Young has never faced Radford or former VCU assistant Mike Jones in his 18 years of coaching.

No tickets are being sold for the game, which will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

 ?? ERIN EDGERTON/THE DAILY PROGRESS ?? Tony Bennett-led UVA is No. 4 in the nation to begin the season, and the Cavaliersw­ere picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.
ERIN EDGERTON/THE DAILY PROGRESS Tony Bennett-led UVA is No. 4 in the nation to begin the season, and the Cavaliersw­ere picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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