Villanova announced the addition of two games to its nonconference 2021-22 men’s basketball schedule Wednesday, a Nov. 12 contest at UCLA and a meeting with former Big East rival Syracuse in the Jimmy V Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7.
The contest against the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion is the first of a home-and-home series that will include a 2023-24 game hosted by the Wildcats.
“We’re excited to begin this series with one of the iconic programs in college basketball,” Cats head coach Jay Wright said in a statement. “We were tested often by (coach) Mick Cronin’s teams during his time at Cincinnati and he’s done an incredible job in a short time at UCLA.”
The Bruins advanced to the NCAA Final Four last season before losing to Gonzaga in the national semifinals on a buzzer-beating three-pointer in overtime and finished 22-10. The Wildcats (18-7) advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 after winning the Big East regular-season championship for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
Villanova’s game against Syracuse is the nightcap of a doubleheader that will feature Tennessee squaring off against Texas Tech in the first game. The Wildcats and the Orange played together in the Big East for 24 seasons before Syracuse moved to the ACC in 2013.
The two teams met in a home-and-home series right after that, with the Wildcats losing 78-62 in 2013 at Syracuse and winning 82-77 in overtime in 2014 at the Wells Fargo Center.