Villanova will have a pretty strong non-conference schedule next season. First, they'll start the season with an appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis, which has quickly become one of the elite preseason exempt tournaments, featuring Kansas, Xavier, Tennessee, Southern California, Wake Forest, UTEP and an eighth school to be announced (almost all in or near the top-100). Now, we know that another of the Wildcats' opponents will be a former Big East foe coming off of a run to the 2013 Final Four.
According to SB Nation's Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recently told a radio show:
"Our fans got an unbelievable break in that Duke AND North Carolina are gonna come here. We're gonna have N.C. State. We're gonna have Villanova, which we're pretty much locked in, having them come up here this year...this is a premiere schedule. You've still got Notre Dame, you've still got Pittsburgh and those other teams."
Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro reportedly confirmed the game at a "Future of Villanova Athletics" event at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan on Thursday night.
The terms of the deal have Syracuse coming back to Philadelphia in the 2014-15 season as well, but for 2013-14, it adds another premiere opponent to the Wildcats' non-conference schedule.
Syracuse, returns a strong line-up next season, even after losing Michael Carter-Williams to the NBA draft, so the Wildcats will likely benefit from the RPI boost from the game.
While the rest of Villanova's non-conference schedule remains unknown, it will be at-least as strong as previous non-conference schedules have been for the Wildcats. It is possible that the scheduling formula would change, however, as the program enters a new conference with a different style of play and a different set of opponents.