VILLANOVA, Pa. - A potent slate of 18 BIG EAST Conference games, a December trip to New York City to meet Texas, and 13 national television appearances highlight the 2008-09 Villanova men's basketball schedule released today. The Wildcats, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years last March, are to play 12 games against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Villanova and Texas, which staged a pair of entertaining battles in Austin and Philadelphia in 2006 and 2007 (the teams split the series, each winning on its home court), will meet for the third time at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9. The game is the second half of a Jimmy V Classic doubleheader that will be nationally televised by ESPN.
BIG EAST action begins, fittingly enough, on New Year's Day at Marquette (2:30 p.m. ESPN). After the `Cats make their first appearance at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. five days later against Seton Hall, they will hold their BIG EAST home opener on Jan. 10 against Louisville at the Wachovia Center (ESPN). This will be one of three appearances at the Center for Villanova. The others come in February (Feb. 7 vs. Syracuse, Feb. 28 vs. Georgetown, both on ESPN). Villanova concludes its BIG EAST regular season by hosting Providence at the Pavilion on March 5 (ESPN or ESPN2).
Two nights on the slate promise a dose of nostalgia as Villanova helps say goodbye to the Wachovia Spectrum in its final season of operation. The Wildcats will host Pittsburgh on Jan. 28 in a BIG EAST tussle in their first Spectrum regular season home game since 1996-97. Villanova will also play its exhibition contest in the arena on Nov. 6, when coach Rollie Massimino, who led the school to the 1985 NCAA championship, brings Northwood University to town.
The Philadelphia tradition known as the Big Five will be featured as part of Villanova's December slate. The `Cats open the City Series on Dec. 2 at Penn before hosting Saint Joseph's at the Pavilion in front of a national television audience (ESPN2) on Dec. 11. Three days later comes a date with La Salle at Tom Gola Arena. VU will close out the 2008 portion of the calendar at the Pavilion against Temple on Dec. 29.
In November Villanova participates in the second annual Philly Classic. It hosts preliminary round games at the Pavilion against Niagara (Nov. 19) and Monmouth (Nov. 25) before moving to the Palestra for a Nov. 28 encounter with Towson and, one night later, a date with either Rhode Island or Penn State.
Additional schedule information, including game times and regional television information will be released at a later date.
2008-09 VILLANOVA MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 6 (Thursday) NORTHWOOD (exh. at WS)
Nov. 14 (Friday) ALBANY
Nov. 17 (Monday) FORDHAM
Nov. 19 (Wednesday) NIAGARA (Philly Classic)
Nov. 25 (Tuesday) MONMOUTH (Philly Classic)
Nov. 28 (Friday) vs.Towson (Philly Classic at Palestra)
Nov. 29 (Saturday) vs. Penn State or Rhode Island (Philly Classic at Palestra)
Dec. 2 (Tuesday) at Penn+
Dec. 4 (Thursday) HOUSTON BAPTIST
Dec. 9 (Tuesday) vs. Texas (Madison Square Garden-ESPN)
Dec. 11 (Thursday) SAINT JOSEPH'S+ (ESPN2)
Dec. 14 (Sunday) at La Salle+
Dec. 22 (Monday) NAVY
Dec. 29 (Monday) TEMPLE+
Jan. 1 (Thursday) at Marquette* (ESPN)
Jan. 6 (Tuesday) at Seton Hall*
Jan. 10 (Saturday) LOUISVILLE*(WC - ESPN)
Jan. 18 (Sunday) ST. JOHN'S*
Jan. 21 (Wednesday) at Connecticut*(ESPN)
Jan. 24 (Saturday) at USF*
Jan. 28 (Wednesday) PITTSBURGH* (WS)
Feb. 1 (Sunday) CINCINNATI*
Feb. 4 (Wednesday) at Providence*
Feb. 7 (Saturday) SYRACUSE* (WC - ESPN)
Feb. 10 (Tuesday) MARQUETTE*(ESPN2)
Feb. 13 (Friday) at West Virginia*(ESPN)
Feb. 19 (Thursday) RUTGERS* (ESPN or ESPN2)
Feb. 22 (Sunday) at Syracuse* (CBS)
Feb. 25 (Wednesday) at DePaul*
Feb. 28 (Saturday) GEORGETOWN*(WC-ESPN)
Mar. 2 (Monday) at Notre Dame*(ESPN)
Mar. 5 (Thursday) PROVIDENCE*(ESPN or ESPN2)
Mar. 10-14 (Tues.-Sat.) Big East Tournament (ESPN/ESPN2)
HOME GAMES IN CAPS played at The Pavilion unless otherwise noted
* Denotes BIG EAST Conference game
+ Denotes Philadelphia Big Five game
WC - Game played at Wachovia Center WS - Game played at Wachovia Spectrum
1 - Philly Classic. Early round games at the Pavilion. Nov. 28-29 at Palestra, Philadelphia, Pa.
2 - Jimmy V Classic, Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Times and regional television information to be released at a later date