Just when we thought we had a handle on which teams Villanova would be playing this Fall, another piece of the schedule came out. According to the Allentown Morning Call, the Wildcats will host the Lafayette Leopards on November 8th, in what will be the season opener.
Given the timing of the game and the Wildcats' participation in the preseason Battle for Atlantis tournament, it is possible that Lafayette is the "mainland" game provided for through that tournament. Towson is definitely participating in the mainland portion of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, however, according to a schedule released by Kansas, so they may be more likely. That mainland home game does not count toward the NCAA's scheduling limitation of 27 games per season (excluding a qualified preseason "exempt" tournament).
Last season, Lafayette had an RPI ranking of 151st. Their head coach, Fran O'Hanlon played at Villanova from 1967 until his graduation in 1970 before continuing his career in the ABA and in Sweden. He moved into coaching in 1982 and became the Leopards' head coach in 1995, where he has been since. He maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater, despite coaching elsewhere, and was reportedly involved in the hiring decision that had brought Coach Raphael Chillious to Villanova last season (Chillious had played at Lafayette).
In addition to Lafayette and three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis's Bahamas bracket, Villanova will play the following Non-Conference games:
- AT Temple
- AT St. Joseph's
- La Salle
- Mount St. Mary's
- AT Syracuse (December 28)
|Nov. 28||vs. USC (Battle 4 Atlantis)||Noon CST||AXS|
|Nov. 29||vs. Kansas or Wake Forest||2:30 or 8:30 p.m CST||AXS/NBC Sports Network|
|Nov. 30||vs Tennessee / UTEP / Xavier / Iowa||TBA||AXS/NBC Sports Network|
|Dec. 28||@ Syracuse||TBD||TBD|
|Feb. ?||@ Temple||TBD||TBD|
|TBD||Mount St. Mary’s||TBD||TBD|
|TBD||@ St. Joseph's||TBD||TBD|