The University of Richmond is scheduled to play three games at Kentucky’s famed Rupp Arena starting Wednesday. The Spiders meet the No. 10 Wildcats there on Sunday, Nov. 29, though the 20,500-seat facility will hold a maximum of 3,075, or 15% of capacity, due to the pandemic.
UR and UK have never played. This encounter allows the Spiders program to check off another of college basketball’s hallowed halls from its bucket list. Richmond over the years has visited just about all of hoopdom’s most revered gyms, with UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion being an exception.
The Spiders did play the Bruins on the road in December of 2011, but Pauley was being remodeled that season. UCLA beat UR 71-63 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Richmond has played at Madison Square Garden and other major league arenas, but in terms of college home courts, what are the 10 most notable places the Spiders have visited?
1. Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium
Though similar private schools that are relatively close, the Spiders and Blue Devils play very rarely. Duke has come to the Robins Center, which opened in 1973, once, in 1973. UR last played at Cameron in 1976. A Duke team that finished 14-13 beat UR 65-63.
2. Kansas’ Phog Allen Fieldhouse
One of the most memorable victories in Spiders’ hoops history was the 69-68 shocker there Jan. 22, 2004. Guard Tony Dobbins hit a 10-footer as time expired to upend 12th-ranked KU before a capacity crowd of 16,300. The Spiders aimed to repeat the magic at “The Phog” in 2012 but were beaten 87-59 by the No. 8 Jayhawks.
3. Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse
The Bulldogs were briefly members of the A-10, and Richmond played in Indianapolis in January of 2013, when Butler was ranked No. 13. The Spiders lost 62-47 in their only game where part of the movie “Hoosiers” was filmed.
4. The Palestra (Philadelphia)
A plaque inside The Palestra, which opened in 1927, reads: “To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all.” That explains the building’s aura. The Palestra is Penn’s homecourt and the Spiders last played the Quakers there in 1980 (84-78 defeat).
5. North Carolina’s Dean E. Smith Center
Richmond took on ranked Tar Heels teams there in back-to-back years, 1995 and 1996. Both games were competitive, but UNC prevailed 83-76 in ’95, and 86-75 in ’96.
6. Syracuse’s Carrier Dome
Richmond has visited the home of the Orange twice. Coach Jim Boeheim’s teams won 74-60 in the 1999 Carrier Classic, in which UR coach John Beilein returned to the area in which he was raised, and 76-71 in 2008.
7. Indiana’s Assembly Hall
Navy and David Robinson beat the Spiders for the 1985 CAA championship. Richmond made its way to Indiana for a second-round NIT date. The Hoosiers, coached by Bobby Knight, won 75-53 and carried on to the NIT title game against UCLA, the champion.
8. Dayton’s UD Arena
The Spiders and Flyers have regularly played since Richmond joined the A-10 in 2001. Richmond is 1-13 at UD Arena but 7-5 against the Flyers at the Robins Center.
9. Minnesota’s Williams Arena
“The Barn,” which opened in 1928, was the site of a notable Richmond NIT win (67-66) in 2002. The last time the Spiders faced the Gophers there, they lost 72-57 in 2012.
10. Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym
The Rams’ facility opened in 1925 and is the oldest arena being used by a Division I program. UR and Fordham are A-10 members that annually meet.