The Wildcats have been notorious at having big time games on their schedule every year, this year is no different. With a program as successful as Villanova’s, it allows them to play some of the best college basketball teams in the country and continue to get exposure on the national stage.
Villanova regularly participates in early season tournaments where they are tested early by top competition. One of the in season tournaments Villanova will compete in is the Jimmy V Men’s Classic at Madison Square Garden. Philadelphia has been said to be the best college basketball city in the country because of the tradition of the Big 5 city schools that include Villanova, Temple, St. Joesph’s, La Salle, and Penn. Even though the Big East conference is not what it once was, it still was very competitive last year and will be the same this year.
With out further adieu here are the top five games I have compiled for next season.
#5 Creighton Bluejays: At the Wells Fargo Center, Time TBD
The reason this is number five is simply because the Bluejays will be with out arguably the nations most exciting player and leading scorer from last season Doug McDermott. The Bluejays also lost their second leading scorer Ethan Wragge to graduation. Creighton will look to returning starters Austin Chatman and Will Artino to pick some of the offensive production lost from last season.
The Wildcats will have revenge on there mind when they take on Creighton next season since they were blown out twice by them last season. Although the Bluejays do not return their two leading scorers from last season the Wildcats should not take the lightly.
#4 Temple Owls: Time and location TBD
Whenever Villanova and Temple square off it is usually a highly anticipated match up. Villanova embarrassed the Owls at the Liacouras Center last year. Granted the Owls were missing a few key players to injury, no one expected them to lose that baldy. I expect Fran Dunphy to have his team better prepared when the two meet this season.
Temple loses leader scorer Dalton Pepper from last season, but brings in Texas transfer Jaylen Bond who sat out all of last season due to transfer rules and talented freshman Obi Enechionyia who could potentially make an immediate impact. Hopefully this Big 5 rivalry will be more competitive next season.
#3 Georgetown Hoyas: Time and location TBD
Two of the biggest rivals in college basketball will go at it once again next year. The Georgetown and Villanova rivalry dates back long past 1985 when the two teams met in the NCAA championship game that saw Villanova come out victorious. When these two teams play each other it is usually a highly competitive intense game. Both of these teams have had great success throughout the years which his made this rivalry that much better.
#2 Syracuse Orange: At the Wells Fargo Center, Time TBD
Like Villanova, Syracuse had an outstanding regular season that ended earlier then many had predicted in the second round of the NCAA tournament at the hands of the Dayton Flyers. Syracuse lost Tyler Ennis and C.J Fair to the NBA last season, but they brought in suitable replacements, as Coach Boeheim does every year with the experienced roster already in place. It seems like every year no matter who is there on their roster Syracuse finds a way into the top 25.
The game will be at the Wells Fargo Center at a date to be determined. Every year Villanova holds it’s biggest home games at the Wells Fargo Center to have the best home court advantage possible which they will need against a talented Syracuse team.
#1 Connecticut Huskies: Time and location TBD
The game of the year for the Wildcats will be when they face the team that knocked them out of the NCAA tournament and the reigning champs the Uconn Huskies. The Huskies went on quite the run in the tournament that saw them upset some great basketball programs. Uconn was led by senior guard Shabazz Napier throughout the tournament. What was even more remarkable about Uconn winning the championship was that they did with a second year coach Kevin Ollie.
Villanova definitely has not forgotten about how there season ended last year and will use that loss to Uconn as motivation for their meeting this year.