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Villanova to play Virginia Tech on Saturday

‘Cats stay longer in Bubbleville

NCAA Basketball: 2k Empire Classic Championship David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova is not quite done yet and will play an additional game before leaving Mohegan Sun. Jay Wright worked out an extra game in Bubbleville against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

The Hokies and ‘Cats were left with a gap in their schedule when their mutual games against Temple were canceled due to a positive COVID test in the Owls’ squad.

“We got a call from Temple a day or so ago that we’re not going to be able to play them, because they had a bout with the virus,” Wright said. “So, we were trying to find another game. Obviously, everybody’s looking for games, so they offered us to play Virginia Tech after last night’s game. We decided to do that, but we had to call St. Joe’s first and see if they could move their game, because we didn’t want to play Saturday and Monday.”

Tech was supposed to play Temple in Bubbleville, while ‘Nova had the Big 5 rival on the cards for early December.

“We had to get an okay from St. Joe’s, if they would be able to move the game before we could accept any offers or think about offers,” Wright said on Friday. “We were doing that as we were preparing for Arizona State, and they — the Gazelle Group — also at the same time was talking to teams saying, ‘Would you want to play Villanova?’ After the (Arizona State) game they said the only team we could match up with was Virginia Tech, and we had gotten word back from St. Joe’s.

“It was like, 12:30, and the team had gone back to their rooms. I finished a press conference. I had to check with the team, because they thought they were going home. I don’t think they knew Temple was cancelled, because we only talk about the next game. The guys had gone back to their rooms. By the time I got back, I called Collin (Gillespie), told him to talk to the team and see what they think.”

Villanova has already won two games at Mohegan Sun when they won the 2K Empire Classic with wins against Boston College and Arizona State. Virginia Tech defeated Radford in their sole game in the 2020-21 season.

This bonus game will be played on Saturday (11/28) at Mohegan Sun Arena at 8 p.m. ET. It will be aired on ESPNU

Villanova holds a 7-1 edge in the historical series. Jay Wright and the ‘Cats won the last game between the two schools in February of 2004- the last year that the Hokies were in the BIG EAST.