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Villanova opens schedule on Nov. 11 vs. Lafayette

Defending national champion Villanova released its 2016-17 schedule, featuring Big Five opponents, games against Purdue, Notre Dame and Virginia, and an 18-game Big East slate starting on Dec. 28.

Defending national champion Villanova will open its 2016-17 schedule on Nov. 11 at home against Lafayette, part of a slate that features its traditional Big Five opponents, three tough intersectional games and 18-game Big East slate starting on Dec. 28.

The Wildcats were 35-5 last year and won their third straight Big East regular season championship,

Villanova's non-conference schedule includes its four City Series games all being played in a two-week period, starting on Nov. 29 at Penn and finishing on Dec. 13 at home vs. Temple. The Wildcats, who have won their last three Big Five titles, host St. Joseph's on Dec. 3 and play LaSalle Dec. 6 in a second apparance at the Palestra.

Villanova travels to Purdue on Nov. 14 for a matchup against the Boilermakers in the Gavitt Games matching teams from the Big East and the Big Ten. The Wildcats meet Notre Dame  on Dec. 10 in the "Never Forget Tribute" at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and host Virginia at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 29.

Villanova also will play in the Charleston (S.C.) Classic from Nov. 18 through 20, opening against Western Michigan. The field includes Wake Forest, UTEP, Mississippi State, Central Florida, Boise State and Charleston.

The Wildcats' Big East schedule begins Dec. 28 at the Pavilion against DePaul. Their home slate features three games at the Wells Fargo Center -- Marquettte on Jan. 7, Providence on Jan. 21, and St. John's on Feb. 4.

Villanova also will participate in the Big East marathon, a run of five consecutive televised games on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Wildcats will take on Seton Hall, the team that defeated them in the 2016 Big East tournament championship game, at the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m.

The Wildcats will play their first road game on New Year's Eve at Creighton. They will go on the road for three straight games in February against Xavier, DePaul and Seton Hall.

In a departure in their series against Georgetown, they will play the Hoyas at the Pavilion on Feb. 7 instead of the Wells Fargo Center. Villanova will close its regular season at Georgetown on March 4.

The Big East tournament will run from March 8 through 11 at Madison Square Garden.