Over the next two seasons, Villanova and Syracuse have announced, the old school Big East rivals will continue their series despite departing for different conferences. The series will feature a late-December game at the Carrier Dome in 2013-14 and an Orange visit to the Wells Fargo Center the next season.
The date of the Carrier Dome game will be December 28, 2013, likely the Wildcat's last game before the conference schedule begins.
"We are excited to announce the continuation of the Villanova-Syracuse rivalry," stated Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro. "Our annual games against Syracuse were an integral part of our basketball schedule over the past 30 plus years, and included some of the greatest college basketball experiences in the nation. We are thrilled to be able to continue that for the next two years."
The game was meaningful for both schools over the last 30 years and the rivalry goes back to their first meeting in basketball during the 1945-46 season. All but four of their meetings, however, came after the Wildcats joined the Big East Conference in 1980-81. In their 70 meetings, Syracuse owns a 38-32 series lead. They are seventh on the list of Wildcats' common opponents over the years, having played against Villanova as often as St. Joseph's over the years.
"The Villanova rivalry has given us some of our best moments," said Dr. Daryl Gross, Director of Athletics at Syracuse. "It has traditionally been one of the top matchups in college basketball and we look forward to continuing the series."
This Summer, Villanova will transition with the Catholic 7, Xavier, Creighton and Butler to the new Big East conference. Syracuse will transition its athletics programs to the ACC.
"Syracuse-Villanova games have been a great tradition and a big part of Big East basketball," stated VU Coach Jay Wright. "When the Wildcats and Orange have met at the Carrier Dome and Wells Fargo Center, the environments have been two of the best in college basketball."
"The series with Villanova has been one of our most competitive, year in and year out," said Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim. "It really took off when Coach (Rollie) Massimino was in charge and has certainly continued with Coach (Jay) Wright at Villanova."