Virginia Commonwealth University forward Mo Alie-Cox and some of his men’s basketball teammates couldn’t help but notice that “Shakaville” already was set up as they walked into the Siegel Center on Thursday morning.

And while Alie-Cox said he wouldn’t join those camping outside the arena in tents waiting for VCU’s game Saturday against No. 7 Virginia, he was appreciative of those who are willing do so.

“It’s just good to see a real supportive fan base, that they care so much about basketball that they’d be willing to sleep outside days before the game to come out and watch us play,” he said.

The sold-out game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPNU.

The Rowdy Rams club has set up tents in previous seasons for games against Saint Louis and Butler, which VCU played in the Final Four in 2011.

“We’re really fortunate here,” VCU coach Shaka Smart said. “We’ve got a terrific group of students and fans that support our team and have a level of passion and enthusiasm. We appreciate that.”

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tpearrell@timesdispatch.com

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