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Virginia, Pittsburgh to take on Villanova in secret scrimmages

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The secret is out.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Buffalo Practice Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, just before the start of the college basketball season, reports of closed-door secret scrimmages begin to emerge.

Last season, the Villanova Wildcats played the Pittsburgh Panthers in one of these scrimmages.

This time around, the Wildcats will be scrimmaging against the Panthers again on Oct. 28. However, since they will not be playing a pre-season exhibition game this year, they will also get to play against the Virginia Cavaliers on Nov. 5.

The details were released by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in a Friday morning tweet.

Last season, Kevin Stallings’ debut as the Panthers’ head coach didn’t go as well as planned. Pittsburgh finished 16-17, its first losing season since 1999-00. The Panthers lost a couple of key players—Jamel Artis and Michael Young—to graduation and both are now in the NBA. Another player, Cameron Johnson, transferred to North Carolina. Their season was ended by Virginia, who knocked them out of the second round of the ACC Tournament.

As for the Cavaliers, they’re an opponent Villanova should be familiar with. Known for their defense, they split a home-and-home series with the Wildcats that ended last year. Virginia finished the season 23-11. It made it to the Round of 32, before losing to Florida. The Cavaliers saw a handful of players transfer and graduate, but they still have sophomore Ty Jerome, who gave Villanova fits last year.