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Villanova to play Duke in October secret scrimmage

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The secret is out!

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats will be playing the Duke Blue Devils in a secret scrimmage slated for October, according to the Raleigh News & Observer’s Steve Wiseman.

According to Wiseman’s report, both teams will be meeting halfway to play a closed scrimmage on Oct. 23, at a gymnasium in the Washington, D.C. area.

NCAA rules allow preseason “secret” scrimmages between Division I teams, but they must be closed to the public and the two participating schools are not allowed to publicize them.

This will be Villanova’s first preseason scrimmage since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a limited preseason and restricted schedule that was mostly geared around conference play.

In 2019, the ‘Cats played North Carolina behind closed doors and faced off against USC in a charity exhibition game.

As for Duke, the Wildcats will be an upgrade from what they’re used to. The Blue Devils had typically scrimmaged the reigning Division II national champion, a tradition that lasted for 10 straight years until the pandemic hit.

Villanova is coming off of an 18-7 season, which included its seventh Big East regular season title in eight years, as well as a run to the Sweet 16, before falling to eventual national champion Baylor.

Meanwhile, Duke had a disappointing 13-11 campaign and missed the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils ended the regular season with three straight losses. They were able to regroup for the ACC Tournament, earning back-to-back wins before being forced to withdraw for COVID-related reasons.