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Villlanova to meet Stanford in Preseason NIT semifinal

Villanova will  face defending NIT champion Stanford in the semifinal game of the Preseason NIT on Thanksgiving Nov. 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 4:30 p.m. game is scheduled after Arkansas and Georgia Tech play in the other semifinal.

The championship will be the next day at 3 p.m.

Even though Villanova is guaranteed a slot in the semifinal, the Wildcats will host two designated campus-site teams prior to traveling to Brooklyn. The Wildcats will host East Tennessee State Nov. 20 and Akron on Nov. 22, both at the Pavilion.

The Wildcats will miss among others, leading scorer Darrun Hilliard (14.3 ppg.), a second round draft choice of the Detroit Pistons and forward JayVaughn Pinkston (9.7 ppg.).

Villanova has a strong nucleus form a 33-3 team that won the Big East regular season and tournament title, The Wildcats should again be among the best teams in the country with high school all-American guard Jalen Brunson joining a veteran cast, led by Big East co-player of the year Ryan Arcidiacono (10.1 ppg., 3.6 apg.) , senior center Daniel Ochefu (9.2 ppg., 8.5 rpg.) and 6-5 junior Josh Hart (10.1 ppg.).

After beating Lafayette in their first NCAA game, the Wildcats were eliminated by North Carolina State. Villanova opens this year's schedule Nov. 17 against visiting Nebraska.

Stanford lost several key players from last year's NIT champion. Among the key returners is Allen Rosco, a 6-9 senior who averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. Former 76ers guard Johnny Dawkins begins his eighth season at Stanford, with a 141-100 record.

Thursday, November 26

2:00 p.m., ESPNU: Arkansas vs. Georgia Tech
4:30 p.m., ESPN2: Villanova vs. Stanford

Friday, November 27

12:30 p.m., ESPNU: Third place game
3:00 p.m., ESPN2: Championship game