The Villanova Wildcats are slated to appear in both the Legends Classic tournament and the Jimmy V Classic game in New York at the start of the coming college hoops season. The two events consist of five games, and will be highlighted by matches that face the Wildcats off against VCU (in the Legends Classic) and Illinois (for Jimmy V).
The Legends Classic will consist of two on-campus games held at the Pavilion, on campus, with the four host teams predestined to advance to the championship bracket, to be played out at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on November 24th and 25th.
Villanova will open the tournament with a November 17th meeting with the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES) at the Pavilion, and then turn around to host Bucknell three days later on November 20th. Afterward, they will pack up for the Barclays Center, where they will play VCU in the first semifinal at 7p, while Michigan and Oregon face off on the other side. The winners will play for a piece of hardware to bring home from Brooklyn, while the losing teams will play to save face.
The VCU game and Championship game will be televised on ESPN 2, while the third place game will be on ESPN U, and the Michigan/Oregon game will be carried on ESPN3.com.
ESPN's full Legends Classic bracket is available here, in PDF format.
Writing for ESPN, Myron Medcalf stated that the, "winner of this event will boost its overall résumé and emerge as an early national title contender and likely top-10 squad."
Villanova will face what may be Shaka Smart's most talented VCU team yet, and their "havoc" defense has given better offensive teams than Villanova trouble. If the 'Cats can survive this match-up, then the 'Cats can develop a lot of confidence for the title game. Michigan is another team in the Legends field that has a chance to win its conference -- the very tough Big Ten. Oregon has shown a big upswing in recent years, but after dismissing Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson in the offseason, the Ducks have a gap in talent from what had been expected.
Then, 14 days after leaving Brooklyn, the Wildcats will return to New York City for the Jimmy V Classic. The Cats were initially supposed to play Maryland in that contest, but the Terrapins dropped out of the event due to "scheduling conflicts." Instead, they will face off against the University of Illinois.
The Illini have five starters returning this season, and will likely be one of the better teams in a very-good Big Ten Conference this season. The Wildcats are likely to be the favorites, given preseason expectations and an expected pro-Nova crowd at the Garden, but the upstart Illini have the ability to put a scare into the 'Cats.