Villanova Wildcats

Villanova to face UConn in each of next 3 seasons

Villanova to face UConn in each of next 3 seasons

Villanova-UConn is back.

As part of an agreement announced Thursday, the two teams will play each other once a season for the next three years.

The Wildcats will face the Huskies in at the XL Center in Hartford on Jan. 20, 2018. It will be the teams' first meeting since the 2014 NCAA Tournament, when UConn eliminated Villanova during its run to the National Championship.

The following season, they'll play Dec. 22, 2018 at Madison Square Garden. The series then comes to Philadelphia, as the Wildcats will host the Huskies at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 18, 2020.

“UConn and Villanova have enjoyed exciting games over a long history,” Wildcats head coach Jay Wright said in a statement. “This series honors the great tradition of Villanova and Connecticut basketball.”

Villanova is 32-31 all-time against UConn and 31-28 record between 1981-2013, when both schools were members of the Big East. Connecticut then left the Big East for the American Athletic Conference. 

“We have had so many memorable games against Villanova over the years, and Coach Wright obviously has one of the very best programs in the country," Huskies coach Kevin Ollie said. "I know our fans will be thrilled to see the Wildcats back on our schedule.”

Villanova basketball to hold exhibition doubleheader for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

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Villanova basketball to hold exhibition doubleheader for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

As many citizens in Puerto Rico continue to struggle with the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, Villanova basketball has decided to use its platform to raise money for relief.

The Villanova men’s and women’s teams will host an exhibition doubleheader Nov. 1 at the Jake Nevin Field House, with all ticket sales benefiting the organization “Unidos Por Puerto Rico.” Villanova is also encouraging fans to make additional donations at this website

The Wildcats women's team will play East Stroudsburg (Division II) at 6 p.m. The men’s team will follow, with a contest against Drexel at 8:30 p.m.

“The impact of Hurricane Irma on our fellow citizens of Puerto Rico has been tragic,” Villanova athletic director Mark Jackson said. “We are grateful that the NCAA is permitting its members to participate in making donations in this unique way as we get ready for the college basketball season. I hope the Nova Nation will join us in supporting this relief effort.”

The men’s team, ranked No. 6 nationally in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, was upset by Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season after a national championship campaign in 2015-16.

The Villanova women finished last season 20-15 overall, making a run to the semifinals of the WNIT before falling to Michigan, 65-11.

Both teams start the regular season Nov. 10, with the women visiting Hartford and the men taking on Columbia at the Wells Fargo Center.

Villanova picked to win Big East in preseason coaches' poll

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Villanova picked to win Big East in preseason coaches' poll

For the fourth year in a row, Villanova was picked to win the Big East in the league's preseason coaches' poll.

The Wildcats received eight of the 10 possible first-place votes in the poll, which was released on Wednesday and doesn't allow coaches to vote for their own teams. Seton Hall and Xavier received the other two first-place votes.

Villanova finished the 2016-2017 season with a 15-3 record in the Big East, good for first place in the conference, and capped it off with the Big East tournament crown.

The Wildcats finished last season with a 32-4 record overall and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The team returns two starters from last season, including forward Mikal Bridges, who was picked for the All-Big East second team, and point guard Jalen Brunson, who was selected as the 2017-2018 Big East Preseason Player of the Year. Brunson's averages of 14.7 points and 4.1 assists led him to an All-Big East first team selection in 2016-2017.

Sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo, who averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on his way to making the Big East all-freshman team, is another returning player that will play a big factor for 'Nova. The Wildcats also add freshman forward Omari Spellman to the mix after he redshirted last season. Spellman was picked in the coaches' poll as the preseason Freshman of the Year.

Jay Wright's squad tips off the 2017-18 season on Nov. 10 against Columbia.