Next season’s home opener should be a special one. While the Championship banner and rings will likely be in place by Hoops Mania, the title defense officially begins with the start of the season. And it looks like we know who that first opponent will be.
Villanova will host Quinnipiac on November 11th as part of its 2018-19 non-conference schedule, per a source. Baker Dunleavy returns to his alma mater.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 11, 2018
Villanova’s season has usually kicked off in the second week of November, and Quinnipiac fits the profile of the level of opponent they usually play int the first game of the season. But more importantly, this will mark the homecoming return of former Nova player and Jay Wright’s associate head coach for the 2016 National Championship, Baker Dunleavy.
Dunleavy’s first year with the Bobcats went better than anticipated, despite finishing 12-21. After being picked to finish last in the MAAC, they went 7-11 in conference to finish 7th. They would go on to upset the 2-seed, Canisius, in the conference tournament before eventually falling in the semi-finals.
While Villanova will be heavily favored and this one should end in extended minutes for the bench and walkons, it will be great to have Baker back home to help celebrate another NCAA Championship.