VUHoops is kicking off its ramp-up to Villanova Basketball’s 100th Season with Ten Top 10 lists. We’ll cover everything you love about Villanova basketball from 1920 to 2020. Be sure to check out all ten of our lists, and check back over the coming weeks as we begin the celebration of 100 years of Villanova Basketball!
It’s finally here! Tomorrow marks the first day of practice for the 2019-2020 college basketball season. But for all of you Allen Iversons out there who aren’t here to talk about practice, let’s get into today’s Top 10: Games on Villanova Basketball’s 2019-20 Schedule.
First off, as far as Villanova schedules go, it’s hard to complain much about this one. You have marquee matchups, ranked opponents, a cluster of Big 5 games, a solid preseason tournament, and seven Saturday games at the Wells Fargo Center. I’m sure Nova’s had better schedules in the past, but never has it been more accessible or fan friendly. And with that, let’s dive right in.
#10: Villanova vs Army
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 5th | Time: 8:30 PM | Location: Villanova, PA (Finneran Pavilion)
How can you not be excited about the first game of the season!?!? We’ll actually have a chance to see the Wildcats play in their exhibition against USC and the Blue/White Scrimmage, but six weeks from tomorrow is the official first game of the year. It can’t get here soon enough!
#9: Villanova vs Penn
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 4th | Time: 6:30 PM | Location: Villanova, PA (Finneran Pavilion)
Villanova had won a record 25 consecutive Big 5 games over seven seasons, including a record five straight outright Big 5 Championships. Then Penn broke both of those streaks last year at the Palestra. Villanova should dominate the Philly round robin again this season, but getting revenge on the team that ended their run will be extra sweet.
#8: Villanova at Marquette
Date: Saturday, Jan. 4th | Time: 2:00 PM | Location: Milwaukee, WI (Fiserv Forum)
Not many players can say they’ve bested Villanova twice on their home court over the last six years, but no one can say they’ve gotten the best of the Wildcats three times on the road. I don’t think Jay Wright and crew are about to let Markus Howard and the Golden Eagles get three wins at Fiserv Forum in four seasons. Expect Villanova to get up for the first game of 2020.
#7: Villanova vs Seton Hall
Date: Saturday, Feb. 8th | Time: 2:30 PM | Location: Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo)
This has been arguably the most heated rivalry Villanova has in the Big East over the last few years. Honestly, with Syracuse gone the Pirates have become the team I love to see Villanova beat the most. Part of that is because of their coach and their fans, but part of it is because they’ve really been a great team the last few years. Now they’re “next up” in the long line of teams that are supposed to knock Villanova off their throne. Ask those that have come before, it’s easier to say than to do.
#6: Villanova vs Baylor*
Date: Sunday, Nov. 24th | Time: 5:00 PM | Location: Conway, SC (HTC Center)
Full disclosure, this matchup might not happen. Even though Villanova and Baylor are the best teams on their sides of the Myrtle Beach Invitational bracket, there’s no guarantee they both make the Championship Game. But if they do, this should be two ranked teams in a must see game less than a month into the season. Villanova has won an amazing six consecutive early season tournaments, and they’ll be favored to make this number seven.
#5: Villanova vs UConn
Date: Saturday, Jan. 18th | Time: 12:00 PM | Location: Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo)
What better way to welcome UConn back to the Big East than to knock them around for a third consecutive year. This is the final game of a three year series, and Villanova has won the first two matchups by a combined 43 points. The Huskies will be back in the conference starting in 2021, so consider this a nice way to remind them what Big East play is like.
#4: Villanova vs Georgetown
Date: Saturday, Jan. 11th | Time: 12:00 PM | Location: Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo)
The Wildcats haven’t lost to Georgetown at home since 2011. That’s right, even in Villanova’s “dark period”, they still found a way to beat up on the Hoyas. Now Villanova’s traditional Big East rival has renewed life with former star turned coach Patrick Ewing and a talented young backcourt. But the crowd in Philly always gets up for this game, and it’s one of the most fun environments to be a part of every season.
#3: Villanova at Ohio State
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 13th | Time: 7:00 PM | Location: Columbus, OH (Schottstein Center)
It’s not going to take long for the young Wildcats to see where they stand on a national stage. In just the second game of the season, they may be facing a ranked team in a true away game. While that’s an enormous challenge, it’s also a great opportunity for the freshmen and sophomores who didn’t see the court much last year to get a good idea of what big games are like at the college level. That’s good to get early on, because they’re going to play in a lot of them this season.
#2: Villanova vs Kansas
Date: Saturday, Dec. 21st | Time: 12:00 PM | Location: Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo)
While this may not be #1 on my list, it will easily be the most hyped game on Villanova’s schedule for the next three months. Villanova just barely lost the road leg of this home-and-home series, and now they get a Kansas team that’s thought by many to be one of the Top 3 teams in the country heading into the season. That said, the last time Kansas came into Philly ranked in the Top 3 they left with a 21 point loss and a gut punch courtesy of Kyle Lowry.
#1: Villanova at Seton Hall
Date: Wednesday, Mar. 4th | Time: 8:30 PM | Location: Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)
Kansas may be the biggest name on the schedule, but no game is bigger than the one that determines a Big East Championship. That may very well be what’s on the line when Villanova plays their second to last game of the regular season. Last year the Wildcats lost this game on the road, and it nearly cost them the Big East title. This year it may be Myles Powell and the Pirates who are looking to wear the crown themselves. It’s the start of March, the start of madness, and could be one for the ages.