VILLANOVA and Syracuse might be going their separate ways in basketball, but that doesn't mean a series that goes back to 1945-46 can't continue. And for at least the next two seasons, that's excactly what will happen.

The longtime Big East rivals will play at the Carrier Dome on Dec. 28. The following season, the Orange will visit the Wells Fargo Center.

" games have been a great tradition and a big part of Big East basketball," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement Friday announcing the deal. "The environments have been two of the best in college basketball."

Next season, Syracuse is moving into the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Orange were a charter member of the Big East in 1979-80, while Villanova joined the next season.

The teams split last season. The Orange won at home on Jan. 12, 72-61. The Wildcats took the rematch 2 weeks later in South Philly, 75-71, one of their three wins over opponents ranked in the top five at the time.

"The series has been one of our most competitive, year in and year out," longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "It really took off when Massiminio was in charge and has certainly continued with coach Wright."

Syracuse has won 38 of the 70 meetings.

Villanova is one of the seven Catholic schools in the former Big East Conference that don't play Division I football and are breaking off from the football schools next season. They will keep the Big East name. Former Atlantic 10 members Xavier and Butler and Missouri Valley school Creighton are joining them.