It’s never too early to have the state schools show me something as ACC and A-10 plays heats up. Tonight we’ve got three games involving the state schools so we’ll take a look at each:

Richmond (3-10) @ Fordham (5-8) — 7 p.m. tonight

The Spiders are feeling good about themselves after a win over Davidson last weekend. Richmond flashed the offensive potential we’ve always heard they had while the defense made a rare appearance as well. The question is if it can carry over to the road where UR 13-16 the last three seasons. They’ve lost their true road games at Wake Forest, Boston College and Old Dominion. Go figure Fordham out as well. They played an up-and-down affair with VCU at the Siegel Center last time out. Joseph Chartouny and Wil Tavares are two solid scorers for the home team. Last year Richmond won 70-48 in New York and have won seven of their last 10 there in the series. Still, am I ready to believe that everything is okay in Spider-land? I think they get another win tonight. PREDICTION: Richmond 70, Fordham 64

VCU (9-5) @ St. Joseph’s (5-7) — 7 p.m. tonight

The Rams are 1-0 in conference play after a win over Fordham last weekend. VCU now begins their stay in Philadelphia with a St. Joseph’s team that has been ravaged by injuries. They will be without Charlie Brown and Lamarr Kimble for this one. Each was supposed to have a big-time role with the team meaning James Demery is going to have to take on a bigger chunk of the offense. Freshman Taylor Funk has carved a nice niche and could be the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year in the conference. VCU’s played only one true road game this year and was blasted at Seton Hall. I’m still leery about the Rams and their consistency. Justin Tillman is going to get his double-double and the return of Isaac Vann will help, but where will the other points come from. Depth is nice to have, but I’d much rather have consistency. These two teams met once last year in Richmond with the Rams getting a 91-81 win. They are now a one point favorite after being a one point dog for most of the time since the line was released. This is a huge show me something type game. VCU is the better squad but can it translate on the road. As a guy who dislikes St. Joe’s, I hope I’m wrong. PREDICTION: St. Joseph’s 75, VCU 71

Virginia (12-1) @ Virginia Tech (11-3) — 9 p.m. tonight

This game has seen a line jump to UVA -3.5 and I think I can understand that. The Hoos are a better team then they were from last year especially if Ty Jerome can perform like he did against Boston College. This is an odd matchup for them because Virginia Tech has so many shooters and not much on the interior. I wonder how long Tony Bennett will keep Jack Salt out there despite his clear size advantage. I was disappointed in the Hokies performance in Syracuse because I would have liked to have seen them go zone against a poor Orange offense. They often settled for jumpers and didn’t drive and kick enough for open shots. The Hokies have won their last two home games in this series by two points, but will not have the students there to cheer them on. The Hoos are only 13-12 in true road games the last three seasons. The Hokies have covered 23 of their last 32 home contests including all five this year. I don’t think an upset comes this year, but I do think it’s another tight battle. PREDICTION: UVA 68, Virginia Tech 65

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