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Villanova basketball team to begin Big East schedule at renovated Finneran Pavilion

The defending national champion will begin its conference season Jan. 2 against DePaul.

Jay Wright's team will open its Big East schedule at home.
Jay Wright's team will open its Big East schedule at home.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Villanova will open its 18-game Big East schedule on Jan. 2 when it faces DePaul at the Finneran Pavilion, the first conference game to be played on campus in 22 months, the Big East announced Thursday.

The Wildcats' home schedule includes four games at the Wells Fargo Center: Jan. 18 against Xavier, Jan. 27 vs. Seton Hall, Feb. 3 vs. Georgetown, and March 2 vs. Butler.

Other games at the Finneran Pavilion, which was closed for the entire 2017-18 season while a $60 million renovation was taking place, include St. John's on Jan. 8, Creighton on Feb. 6, Providence on Feb. 13, and Marquette on Feb. 27.

Villanova will play three consecutive road games in February, traveling to Madison Square Garden to meet St. John's on Feb. 17, to Georgetown on Feb. 20, and to Xavier on Feb. 24. The regular season will conclude March 9 at Seton Hall.

A quirk in the schedule this season has Villanova playing only four Big East games on Saturdays and just one of them, Butler at the Wells Fargo Center, at home.

The Wildcats previously announced their 13-game nonconference schedule, highlighted by games against both of last year's Final Four opponents: Michigan on Nov. 14 at Finneran Pavilion and at Kansas on Dec. 15.

Villanova will begin its season Nov. 6 against Morgan State in its return to the Finneran Pavilion, followed by a Nov. 10 game against Quinnipiac and former Wildcats assistant Baker Dunleavy that will be played at the Wells Fargo Center.

Villanova's Big Five schedule includes two games at the Palestra — Dec. 1 vs. La Salle and Dec. 11 vs. Penn — as well as back-to-back games at the Finneran Pavilion on Dec. 5 against Temple and Dec. 8 vs. St. Joseph's.